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European juice packager pioneers first extrusion-blown PLA bottle

Polenghi of Italy employs a low carbon-footprint bioplastic bottle for its new Bio organic lemon juice brand.

Italian dressing and juice provider Polenghi LAS has developed Europe’s first extrusion blow-molded bio-based bottle for its organic lemon juice, using a new blend formulation of Ingeo™ polylactic acid from NatureWorks LLC.

By switching from polyolefin resin to Ingeo for packaging 10 million bottles of its new Bio organic lemon juice brand, Polenghi will conserve 1,000 barrels of oil and will reduce CO2 emissions by 126 tons compared to an equivalent oil-based plastic squeeze bottle, relates NatureWorks.

The supplier confirms that Polenghi’s achievement demonstrates the first European commercial introduction of a bioplastic substitute for polyolefin resins in extrusion blow-molding applications. The bioplastic is also said to offer stable pricing compared to the volatility experienced in the petroleum market.

Polyethylene and polypropylene are the polyolefins typically used in the extrusion blow-molding process to produce the “soft” plastic packaging often used for food and personal care squeeze bottles. The resin manufacturing process to produce Ingeo bioplastic emits 38% less CO2 and consumes 45% less energy than the resin manufacturing process for an equivalent-weight low-density PE, NatureWorks says. The resin manufacturing process to produce Ingeo is also said to emit 31.6% less CO2 and consume 42% less energy than the resin manufacturing process for PP.

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“We are extremely proud of the technical achievements that led to the development of this low carbon-footprint ‘Eco Bottle,’ the first of its kind in Europe,” says company sales director Marco Polenghi. “This bottle and shrink-sleeve label, both made from renewably sourced Ingeo bioplastic, presents us with the opportunity to differentiate our Bio organic lemon juice.”

Says Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of NatureWorks, “Over the past two years, we’ve seen the expansion of Ingeo applications into such manufacturing processes as injection molding and higher-heat thermoforming. With its innovative Ingeo blend, Polenghi now offers a lower carbon-emission/lower-energy alternative to polyolefins in extrusion blow-molding applications.”

The Polenghi Bio organic lemon juice, packed in the Eco Bottle, is now available in Italy and will soon be stocked in stores throughout Europe.

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