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Pretium Packaging, a North American manufacturer of plastic containers and closures, using technology from Practically Impossible Labs, Houston, Texas, has developed a 64-ounce, 38-400 mm finish, stock PET container with an integrated handle.

Trademarked, the SureHandle PET container, this disruptive commercialisation now gives brand owners significant shelf differentiation, handling convenience and aesthetics that were not previously possible. SureHandle containers create multiple marketing opportunities for brand owners seeking to appeal to a wider audience. The container is easy to handle for both younger children and older adults, and those with physical challenges, compared to pinch grip or straight-sided alternatives. The handle not only provides carrying advantages, but also improved pouring control. It has been engineered for products needing fill temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48,9°C) and can accommodate an induction seal or foam liner.

Additionally, the container has been designed with enhanced top load capabilities. This enables the use of a shrink wrapped tray pack (vs. a corrugated case) which can withstand stacking of five layers to a pallet, four pallets high. Using a tray pack can potentially reduce secondary packaging costs by up to 80%. This also means easier unloading at the retail level, as well as retail-ready displays for big box stores. The end result is a cost-competitive container alternative, with significant convenience benefits and reduced secondary packaging.

“There have been a variety of attempts over the years to develop handled PET containers, but most have fallen short of the mark. This new technology creates all sorts of possibilities for products—including beverages, foods and household and industrial chemicals—that could benefit from a monolayer container with an ergonomic handleware solution” said Paul Kayser, president and chief executive officer, Pretium.

The container combines preform technology developed by Practically Impossible Labs, and Pretium’s injection and blow moulding manufacturing expertise. The capability begins with the preform which is structurally different than traditional straight-sided, injection moulded preforms used to blow mould PET containers. This preform features an injection moulded handle attached to the side wall.

The integrated-handle preform is loaded in the same manner as a conventional preform. Proprietary enhancements have been made to standard blow cavities to accept and position the handle during the blowing process. Because no secondary operation is required to add the handle to the container, the end result is increased structural integrity.

Pretium will be producing the preforms and bottles at its Walterboro, South Carolina facility on Husky Injection Molding Systems and Sidel reheat stretch blow molding equipment, respectively.

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