The two family-owned businesses Vöslauer and ALPLA have been jointly championing sustainable solutions for years. The aim is for Vöslauer’s natural mineral water to come in packaging which is resource-conserving, light and suitable for everyday use. What’s needed are bottles with a modern design that combines innovation with aesthetics. Following the introduction of the 100 per cent rPET bottle (rPET = recycled PET) in 2018, the next step into the future will follow in 2022 with the new reusable PET bottle. As an expert partner, ALPLA is heavily involved in the development and production of Austria’s first modern reusable PET bottle.
Light, stable, climate-friendly
Reuse results in added value. Cycles and environmentally aware consumption are crucial if we are to handle our planet sustainably. For both of these to be possible, it takes innovation. And now reusable PET packaging is coming into the picture, following on from what is the most climate-friendly water bottle made of single-use rPET. Of all packaging solutions, reusable PET has the best environmental footprint and causes just 70 per cent of the carbon emissions of reusable glass, as determined by the independent consultancy firm c7-consult in 2019.
‘People want to consume sustainably. There is currently not a single reusable PET product in the Austrian market, even though it’s the best solution in this respect,’ explains Rainer Widmar, Regional Manager Central and Eastern Europe, at ALPLA. ‘We want to offer our customers the best and the most sustainable packaging solution and are delighted to be taking this step with Vöslauer,’ he adds.
The new reusable PET bottle developed together with Vöslauer is a good example of how demand, a sense of responsibility, a hunger for innovation and technological expertise can reduce the carbon footprint. Until now, bottles of this kind have been too heavy and not all that attractive. Not least because of this, the range of reusable packaging was therefore limited to glass bottles. Weighing just 55 grams, the new reusable PET bottle is around 90 per cent lighter than the glass alternative. This alone reduces the carbon footprint by approximately 30 per cent. It is also stable and unbreakable, and therefore much better suited to day-to-day use.
Recyclable and resource-optimised
The reusable PET bottle which will be available in retail starting in spring 2022 is made entirely of fully recyclable PET monomaterial with a recyclate proportion of around 30 per cent. This proportion is to be continuously increased in the years to come. If it goes through twelve cycles, the bottle can likely remain in circulation for around three to four years. The investment is already good for the climate the first time the bottle is used. Vöslauer will be able to eliminate around 420 tonnes of carbon emissions a year by introducing reusable PET packaging.
Rainer Widmar, Regional Manager Central and Eastern Europe: "ALPLA continuously optimises the use of resources on the basis of research and development. We are looking very closely at material reduction, alternative materials and caps. Our aim is to be introducing only 100 per cent recyclable packaging to the market by 2025. The proportion of processed post-consumer recycled materials is to rise to 25 per cent of total material usage. To achieve this, ALPLA is investing 50 million euros a year and is continuously developing new and sustainable packaging solutions. Vöslauer’s reusable PET bottle is a prime example of this."