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Better for planet? Sidel challenges metal aerosol containers with carbon-cutting PET alternative

April 24, 2022
Energy & Chemical Value Chain

Sidel is launching a PET aerosol container design that will give home and personal care brands the opportunity to offer environmentally sustainable dispensing spray packaging. This PressureSafe solution is approved for the traditional PET recycling stream and can replace metal aerosol containers.

Intended for use with products such as perfumes and deodorants, PressureSafe will offer home and personal care brands a more competitive choice of pressurized container than the traditional metal aerosol container, highlights Sidel.

“Sidel’s packaging designer developed this PressureSafe container to be compatible with both virgin material and recycled PET,” a spokesperson at Sidel tells PackagingInsights.

The solution will enable brands to demonstrate their carbon-saving credentials, while responding to consumers’ environmental sustainability demands.

PET versus metal
When asked how the new PET PressureSafe containers compare to conventional metal aerosol containers, the Sidel spokesperson lists the following aspects:

  • PET offers carbon savings versus aluminum
  • The average PET market price is almost half that of aluminum
  • Drop tests have proved that PressureSafe is as safe as metal containers – there are no breaks or leaks under mechanical stress
  • PressureSafe is also fully compliant with finite element analysis (FEA) and poly glycohydrolase (PARG) material specifications
  • PressureSafe offers a greater appeal and more design opportunities than aluminum
  • PET container profiles can be straight or shaped with different body designs, including belt and texturing options and a conical or round shoulder
  • PET base design profiles can be smooth or sharp with special patented structures and styles
  • Wide range of decorations, including sleeves offering effective communication space
  • Transparent PET options also offer product visibility

Carbon saving credentials
Mikael Derrien, Sidel’s packaging and tooling innovation manager, advocates for the new solution’s environmental credentials.
“The adoption of PressureSafe aerosol containers enables companies to demonstrate their carbon-saving credentials, reflecting their own environmental commitment, while responding to the [environmental] sustainability demands of their customers,” he says.

PET is regarded as a viable alternative to metal aerosol cans due to its cost-competitiveness and environmental sustainability benefits. Derrien asserts that the average PET market price is almost half that of aluminum and that PET has a raw material carbon footprint that is also half that of aluminum. PET is also recyclable and the aerosol containers can be recycled within the PET stream.

Microplastic concerns
However, replacing metal with PET also means a greater plastic flow and potential contamination issues if the material is not recycled. Scientists recently discovered microplastics in human blood cells, sparking fears that continued packaging pollution could result in rising disease rates. Also, mussels at Australia’s most remote beaches have been found to contain microplastics.

The Flinders University, Australia, researchers warn that this means microplastics are now finding their way into human food supplies – including wild-caught and ocean-farmed fish and seafood sourced from the Southern Ocean and gulf waters of South Australia.

Meanwhile, the global “plastic flood” has reached the Arctic, according to a new international review study released by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany. The researchers say there is a concerning degree of plastic pollution in the Arctic Ocean while noting that plastic debris from ships – especially fishing vessels – is a primary cause.

Maximizing performance
At the same time, Sidel points out that PressureSafe maintains the highest standards of product safety, making PET containers as safe as metal aerosol containers.

The product’s name refers to the PET dispensing spray’s resistance to pressure, which allows it to maintain a safe structure and protect against leakages, breakages and roll-out during transportation and storage.

Sidel expects PressureSafe to transform the way that home and personal care companies can respond to consumer’s environmental expectations, while addressing operational challenges and withstanding extreme supply chain conditions.

The patented PressureSafe container base design provides “maximum packaging performance” by combining an optimized preform design and viscosity level with a specific container’s vault shape.

This technology ensures the final product is “fully compliant” with FEA and PARG aerosol regulations and material specifications.

A specific active mold base solution, Sidel’s Base Over Stroke System provides the on-site production-line blower configuration to produce the aerosol spray design. The supplier also offers customers laboratory bench tests to qualify the package’s performance.

Earlier this week, Ball partnered with Recycle Aerosol to increase the recycling rates of aluminum aerosol cans in the US.

By Natalie Schwertheim


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