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By Pira International Ltd

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By Pira International Ltd

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5 litre sizes, uses a vegetable dye to colour the bottle green, in order to distinguish it from the usual PET colour of blue. The non-petroleum origin of the bottle material is marketed as an advantage, as it represents an environmental plus, and though the price per unit is higher than PET, it is lower than glass. Use of biopolymers in beverages packaging is expected to advance significantly via Coca-Cola Co’s adoption of its PlantBottle concept: a PET bottle containing up to 30% monoethylene glycol derived from the ethanol produced from sugar cane and molasses.

Materials constructed from nanotechnology have been found to provide unexpected and valuable packaging properties. The properties that are most improved by nanotechnology include physical (tensile, heat distortion, modulus, toughness), barrier and weight (significant weight reductions are possible by reducing packaging cross-section). The incorporation of nanotechnology into biopolymer plastics can result in materials with an improved balance between permeabilities for oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour.

These are polymeric compounds that consist of discrete fillers, a few nanometres in diameter and with immense surface areas. These compounds can be processed into film and other packaging materials using conventional conversion equipment. Nanocomposites represent a radical alternative to traditional filled polymers and polymer blends. Other potential for nanotechnology in packaging includes the applications of nanometre thick films and coatings. These can be used as individual barriers in multilayer films or they can be built up from multiple nano thick films.

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