Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Goya Foods Moves from Glass to Plastic for Good (and Green) Reasons

In a major redesign of its marinade product line, Goya Foods, which is the largest Hispanic-owned U.S. food company and a leading supplier of Latin American food and condiments, has converted its 12oz (355ml) and 24.5oz (725ml) marinade bottles from glass to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles supplied by Amcor Rigid Plastics.

Switching from glass (left) bottles to PET plastics bottles, Goya Foods gained many advantages, including environmental ones.

Switching from glass (left) bottles to PET plastics bottles, Goya Foods gained many advantages, including substantially reduced environmental impact.

Amcor’s LatinAmerica group designed the hot-fill bottles, including a new shrink-wrap label, and the result is a vibrant, clean package that is at once modern and elegant. Apart from the visual appeal, Amcor’s press release notes other benefits: “The hot fill bottle delivers significant performance and cost advantages including portability, reduced breakage, and light weight, along with sustainability benefits such as recyclability, reduced transportation costs, and a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

During the last 70 or so years that plastics have been replacing glass — and metals, paper, and fabrics — the replacement decision was generally not based on any single plastics advantage. One benefit often was cited as the key factor, but virtually always, it was a combination of benefits that spurred the change, as it is with Goya’s decision on these bottles.

Goya is realizing substantial environmental benefits by changing the  bottles from glass to plastics. Amcor says using PET in the 24.5oz bottle results in a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 61.4%, compared with glass. Additionally, using PET means 52% more 24.5oz bottles are in a truckload, which eliminates still more GHG. Such environmental benefits may vary in quantity but  generally they are typical when plastics replace other materials, a fact that environmental activists and groups should appreciate, or at least notice.

“In the end, lightweight PET not only delivered a major savings in terms of freight cost but also gave us the glass-like appearance and the shelf appeal to maintain our brand image,” said Joseph Perez, senior vice president of Goya Foods. Both bottle sizes are custom designed for both ambient fill (up to 140°F) and hot fill (up to 185°F) applications and are seamlessly integrated into existing glass filling lines with minimal adjustment, according to Perez.

Goya Foods, which offers more that 2,200 Latin American food products, also plans to replace glass with PET in an existing 12oz juice beverage line. Perez said the conversion to hot fill PET is expected by the summer.

The new Goya PET bottles are the first to feature Amcor’s new Origami hot-fill technology, incorporating six flat panels to counteract vacuum that occurs in hot filled containers and to maintain structural strength and integrity. The flat surfaces enhance gripping and consumer handling.

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