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Coke's first contour bottle with PCR

Coca-Cola Co. chose Feb. 1 at the R'95 Conference in Geneva, Switzerland-an international conference on recovery, recycling, and reintegration-to announce the first-ever introduction of its famous contour bottle in a tri-layer format incorporating at least 25% post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate between layers of virgin PET.

This is not Atlanta-based Coke's first foray into PCR-containing bottles. It's already marketed bottles using PET PCR made by methanolysis first in the U.S. in 1991 and then in Europe a year later. And in Australia in 1993 the company unveiled its first tri-layer bottle which like this newest one also sandwiched PCR between virgin layers of PET. But never before had Coke used a tri-layer bottle that includes PCR and has Coke's curvy contour shape. According to Coca-Cola Switzer-land's Rainer Mller the new bottle weighs 58 g. That's 8 g more than the straight-walled monolayer bottle it replaces. The added weight says Mller is necessary because the curves place extra demands on sidewall integrity. Co-injection molding of the preform which is done by Continental PET Europe (Seine France) has to take this into account. So does blow molding which is done by Varioform PET Verpackungs (Unterradlberg Austria). Asked about cost Mller acknowledges that certainly there were upfront development costs involved. But he says that right now Coke is paying about the same price for the new tri-layer contour bottle as it paid for the monolayer bottle that's been replaced. The 2-L container unveiled at the R'95 press conference is now available throughout Switzerland where the chief health authority known as BAG approved the technology with the cooperation of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA). Further market expansions throughout Europe are planned for 1995 pending approvals by appropriate national and European Union authorities.

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