French Société Générale des Techniques, SGT, offers a wide range of preforms. While some, such as the preforms for 3 or 5 gallon containers, have been further developed and improved, the company is also introducing new projects like the 24/410 neck preforms dedicated to cosmetic and personal care applications.
3- and 5-gallon refill preforms
The 3- and 5-gallon refill preforms for water bottles have been developed by SGT for the re-use market. They can contain up to 25% rPET. This preform, which was already available but has been improved, has been completely re-imagined in terms of its design and geometry: 33% shorter than most 5-gallon preforms currently on the market, it optimises bi-orientation, obtains a better stretching and blowing ratio and prevents the bottle from crystallising, with no compromise on the quality and robustness of the packaging, states SGT. Its weight has also been reduced from 730 g to 650 g for the 5-gallon version, and 450 g for the 3-gallon one. This not only saves material costs but also transport costs. The 55 mm preform neck has been specially designed to guarantee a perfect seal. The ovoid preform base enables the bottoms of the bottles to be lightened after blowing.
The PET “refill” preforms are designed as an alternative to polycarbonate solutions for water fountain bottles. The bottle obtained is consignable, reusable, refillable and recyclable. It provides a response to current economic and environmental objectives.
The development of the “refill” preform is in keeping with the Group’s 3 R strategy: SGT is committed to Recycling, through its SGR unit, to Reducing the weight of its preforms and now to project to Re-use plastic packaging. SGT’s “refill” preforms are both reusable and recyclable.
SGT points out that the gallon bottles respond to current market demands since today it is not only companies who use large water bottles but also private customers who no longer want to buy, carry and store packs of water bottles.
In comparison to developments in PC, the 5-gallon PET alternative is claimed to be more eco-responsible as PET is a reliable and robust material which is suitable for food contact – and it is recyclable.
The SGT group’s R&D department set itself a real technical challenge by developing a shorter version of the “5-gallon”, compatible with all injection press and blower models. This specific feature enables better bi-axial orientation and therefore better distribution of the material.
Finally, the preform may be customised and provides the possibility of integrating a handle.
PET “cup” preform
SGT has developed a recyclable alternative to polystyrene (PS) yoghurt and dessert cups that may integrate up to 100% rPET. The cup preform that SGT is proposing is claimed to be light and transparent. It enables an unbreakable pot with a lid to be blown.
This PET yoghurt pot version also seeks to replace glass jars which are much heavier (80 g compared with 11 g for its plastic equivalent). Since glass generates more CO2 emissions when it is manufactured and transported, compared to PET, it is a less eco-responsible solution.
SGT states: “It is clear to see that today PET is the material which can be converted the most, is suitable for food contact, is 100% recyclable and which responds precisely to new European sustainable consumption requirements.” SGT’s cup PET preform meets new European single-use plastic directives since it can contain up to 100% rPET and is 100% recyclable.
The new application has been developed as part of SGT’s continuous improvement approach:
“We have extended our specific offer to ultra-fresh products by proposing this cup preform dedicated to yoghurts and fresh desserts in response to market demands. This solution is perfectly in keeping with a circular economy approach.” says SGT.
The cup PET preform is transparent, light, hard-wearing and recyclable. This packaging provides all food safety guarantees and gets round the problems of broken glass during production.
SGT’s cup preform also offers a host of design possibilities, which is a significant marketing asset for brands who want to stand out on the shelves.
Thr cup preform is claimed to be compatible with the collection and recycling system currently in place for PET. It is currently the material which can be converted the most. PET yoghurt pots can then be used, sorted and recycled to be converted again and follow a more virtuous circuit.
Multi-layer preform for UHT milk packaging
For UHT milk packaging, SGT has developed a multi-layer preform with a very low opacifier rate (< 1%). The main innovation of this multi-layer process involves inserting a layer of black PET as close as possible to the internal wall of the preform, which enables 99.95% of light transmission to be blocked out. This technology enables the nutritional qualities of UHT milk to be preserved for longer and considerably reduces the use of opacifiers which disrupt recycling flows. The new multi-layer UHT milk bottle is also environmentally-friendly since it can contain up to 100% recycled clear or opaque PET and so potentially enter a recycling circuit with return to the milk bottle.
This opaque multi-layer PET bottle also has the same preservation qualities as an HDPE bottle, says SGT. While this preform is currently being proposed for UHT milk packaging, a much wider-scale use is intended since it meets the preservation requirements of all photo-sensitive liquids.
- This solution is claimed to provide a response to:
- The issue of recycling opaque milk bottles in closed circuits;
- long-term preservation of photo-sensitive liquids:
- eco-design requirements because bottle weight can be reduced;
- the conversion of milk bottles at the end of their life;
- and the obligations set by European regulations which impose from 2025 the integration of 25% recycled plastic in PET bottles.
The SGT R&D department based at Rezé in the Loire-Atlantique département in France has carried out a 3-year test programme to obtain an optimised solution with low mineral load (< 1%), integrating recycled PET and suitable for food contact.
This work is also the product of long-term co-operation with their suppliers.
In addtion to being recyclable, the opaque PET multi-layer milk preform protects the milk and enables long-term preservation, says SGT. It therefore contains less than 1% of opacifiers and adapts to the design constraints of different brands as it may be realised with a matt or glossy appearance. Other advantages include that it does not require a lid, and, by comparison, it is lighter than other materials which are currently used for UHT milk.
It responds to current and future economic and environmental objectives with the obligation to incorporate recycled plastic into PET bottles by 2025 and the use of tethered caps.
Increased preform range
SGT is constantly increasing its portfolio to meet the demand of bottlers of hygiene and beauty products who are increasingly committed to 100% recycled, recyclable or refillable PET packaging.
Now, SGT offers new 24/410 neck preforms dedicated to cosmetic and personal care applications (200 ml). Body lotions, face creams, shampoo, conditioner and hand sanitiser are all suited with this new cosmetic preform.
Involving in the 3R process for Recycle, Reuse and Reduce, the company has also increased its 38 mm neck range with new preform weights, from 62 g to 75 g, for 3-5 l still water or detergent containers.
Finally, SGT has developed a new CSD preform, the 26/22 neck finish, distinguished by a very low height and weight.
SGT states that all its preform ranges are suitable for tethered caps.