Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GEPLAER (PLASTIC AEROSOL CONTAINER)
Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2015-10-31
At European level, some strategies are moving towards this challenge. According to Petcore Europe, more than 65 billion PET containers were recycled in Europe in 2013. The same study revealed that around 56% of PET containers in circulation were collected for reclamation and recycling. This represents an increase of 4% in relation with the previous year’s figures. Thus, demand for PET as the packaging material of choice continues to grow, as a result of a 30% overcapacity in production. The extraordinary ability of PET to be recycled and reused into a wide variety of end uses allows to consider it as a key factor to reduce the packaging waste.
Having identified an attractive business opportunity, and having developed a pioneering technological solution, the company GEPACK S.L proposes a novel aerosol container based on PET with higher pressure resistance (11 bar) complying with current legislative requirements for personal care and food products. The PET aerosol container needs a new production process where two steps are required. The first step involves the injection of the preform on an injection machine; and after 24h, the second step is carried out involving re-heating, stretching and blowing processes on a blowing machine. This Aerosol based in PET solution is expected to bring reduction impact during the transport and distribution and also contribution in reducing wastage. Along with this, the new pioneering container for personal care and food products will provide differentiation in product to consumers. This new solution has also the potential to be applied in other sectors where packaging is a valuable factor of innovation.
The Aerosol PET container, considered as worldwide innovation, would imply an important growth for GEPACK, positioning them as leaders in a new, international, promising and growing aerosol market.
Innovation, people and a highly qualified R+D and sales department are the key pillars provided by GEPACK to develop and commercialize the best PET packaging to its customers. Although those pillars make GEPACK be confident about a successful business project development, the objective of submitting a SME-1 action was to reduce project risks by undertaking a Feasibility Study. The positive results achieved at phase 1 allows GEPACK to carry out the next steps of the project, keep working on technical issues that still have to be overcome, and to confirm their economic and market viability.
A Feasibility Assessment of the Aerosol based in PET container has been performed in Phase 1 in collaboration with other companies (Fareva), research centers (University of Mihno), Packaging, Transport and Logistics Research Institute (ITENE) and certificated laboratories (CNE – Centro Nacional de Embalagem).
From the great expertise of Gepack in processing PET material, three conventional grades of PET from different suppliers have been evaluated to provide an improvement in mechanical and thermal resistance. At the initial stages, a PET grade supplied by JBF Global Europe BVBA was processed, results show that crystallinity degree is not enough to provide resistance for aerosol applications. Other tested PET grades were supplied by Cepsa and Neogrup. Both performed prototypes are transparent and show better crystallinity degree compared to previous analyzed grade. Despite the great technical expertise of the company is focus on conventional PET materials, a specific PET grade was tested. A hot fill grade supplied by Alphapet has been evaluated in parallel with standard grades to improve even more properties of final aerosol PET container. Hot fill grade showed a higher crystal fraction in hot fill grade, with more thermal resistance. From this promising behavior, Gepack has decided to continue with this prototype for next industrialization, as revenues will overcome this increase in cost.
Regarding the market analysis, purchase behavior and intention and Price sensitivity were validated with customers in Europe from the personal care and food (olive oil/vinegar products) industry. In general terms, the GEPLAER solution was considered a very interesting and innovative development for both industries. Even retailers saw an opportunity for the GEPLAER solution since there is no references matching with its added properties in the market.
Finally, a business plan has been elaborated. This business plan highlights that the commercialization of the Aerosol based in PET container, considered as worldwide innovation, will imply an important growth for GEPACK, positioning them as leaders in a new, international, promising and growing aerosol market.
Other potential impacts are listed below:
• Competitive advantage for personal care and food manufacturers due to the value added characteristics the solution provides.
• Improvement of brand positioning and market differentiation due to the customization packaging in shapes and colors.
• Production flexibility allows to manufacture in faster delivery times and less production units per run.
• Cost savings at material, transport and distribution level.