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Beer in PET gains popularity in Europe

Watch for a lot more beer in PET in Europe. Martens Brewery in Belgium is gearing up with 500-mL PET bottles blown in-house on Sidel equipment and coated with a thin barrier layer of hydrogen-rich amorphous carbon on the inside of the bottle.

At Martens Brewery in Bocholt, Belgium, barrier-coated 500-mL PET bottles are rinsed on this system and filled immediately after
At Martens Brewery in Bocholt, Belgium, barrier-coated 500-mL PET bottles are rinsed on this system and filled immediately after

Two of Sidel’s Actis coating systems are in production now, and a third is on its way. Downstream filling and secondary packaging is done on a KHS line rated at 40ꯠ bph. High-volume discounter Aldi in Germany is Martens biggest customer. Aldi essentially told Martens to come up with PET for Aldi’s Maternus Pilsener private-label brand because it would simplify the recycling stream. Aldi now no longer carries beer in either glass or cans because recycling requirements make both these materials a nuisance. By stipulating that all beverages—CSD, water, beer—entering an Aldi store be in PET, Aldi need only concern itself with a single recycling stream.

More PET brewing

Meanwhile, Holsten-Brauerei AG, Hamburg, Germany, has invested in a PET line for 500-mL bottles of own-brand beer and beer-based mixed drinks. Speeds are in the range of 36ꯠ bph. Multilayer preforms from Amcor PET Technologies are blown in-house on a Krones Contiform S24 blow-molding system. Filling and secondary packaging are also done on Krones equipment.

Sources suggest that these lines could be the tip of the iceberg. Research done by Aldi indicates that the "beer-doesn’t-belong-in-plastic" objection is fading fast.

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