The Coca-Cola Co. has been producing carbonated soft drinks in Poland since 1972. Like its peers in the Polish market Coke has relied on returnable containers for most of that time glass for the most part and in the last year or two polyethylene terephthalate as well. But in 1993 a brand new plant was built outside Warsaw in a town called Radzymin and when it opened Polish consumers got their first real taste of Coke Sprite and Fanta in nonrefillable cans and PET bottles. "Our philosophy is that consumers want both refillable and nonrefillable containers" says Nick Tilley technical director of Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) the Australian-based franchise bottler that bought The Coca-Cola Co.'s Polish operations early in 1995. "If they want both our aim is to give them both." In the 8-sq-m (86-sq-ft) Radzymin plant the centerpiece of packaging technology is a line dedicated to 2- and 2.5-L PET bottles. The bottles are made and then filled in-line. The bottle-making portion of the operation represents a first for Coca-Cola franchise bottlers: injection molding of preforms and stretch blow molding of bottles on single-stage equipment from SIPA S.p.A. Based in Vittorio Veneto Italy SIPA has U.S. offices in Mt. Laurel NJ. At Radzymin two SIPA model ECS 8000 systems each equipped with 32 injection molding cavities and 16 blow molding cavities supply bottles to a filling line running at 200 bottles/min. Both 2- and 2.5-L bottles are produced. The installation of this line however reflects no particular CCA bias toward single-stage bottle-making systems. In fact in the same plant is an even newer in-line bottle blowing and filling line dedicated to 1-L PET bottles that uses the two-stage reheat-and-blow approach (see sidebar p. 35). The way CCA management sees it each new project has its own unique set of requirements. These are not only technical in nature but cultural geographical and political as well. Under such circumstances says Tilley "There is no one best thing to do." In other words there's a place for single-stage blowing and a place for reheat/blow technology. "But I do think" he adds "that it's very healthy for the industry to have someone like SIPA make an entry and a strong entry into a field that was largely dominated by two-stage technology for many years." Tilley formerly worked for The Coca-Cola Co. and played an integral role in assembling the Radzymin plant. He became a part of CCA in March of this year but he says the links between the Atlanta-based business and "anchor bottlers" like CCA are strong. "We try to view the business as a single enterprise if you like" he notes.