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Just 6.6 grams of PET for 500 millilitres of water

An accolade for the best packaging innovation in 2008: Krones AG, Neutraubling, Germany, won the 2008 Water Innovation Award in Gold from the trade periodical “bottledwaterworld” in the "Best packaging innovation" category for a 0.5-l PET bottle weighing a mere 6.6 grams. This year’s competition, organised by Zenith International Publishing, attracted 201 entries from 40 different countries.

Krones’ "PET lite 6.6" bottle constitutes a new milestone in the field of lightweight beverage containers. With a mere 6.6 grams of PET, 500 millilitres of still water can be “packaged”. The innovative features here include firstly dividing the bottle into different functional sections. In the upper section of the bottle, a small diameter has been chosen, thus achieving enhanced grip stability for the user. This grip area has been additionally reinforced with special grooves, so that at this point the bottle can even be labelled when empty. The lower section of the bottle is significantly larger in diameter – this is where the majority of the product is accommodated. The wall thickness in this area is less than 0.1 millimetres.

In addition, the bottle is stabilised with nitrogen, so that it does not collapse during transport and handling. During the filling process, a small quantity of liquid nitrogen is injected into the bottle, and gasifies after capping, thus ensuring an internal pressure of approx. 0.5 bar, which is sufficient for the bottle to be safely handled on the line, and transported on normal pallets. The mouthpiece developed specifically by Krones and Bericap for this bottle (without the neck ring otherwise customary) weighs a mere 1.3 grams; the closure, too, is sensationally light at 1.1 grams. The interaction of thread, closure, material distribution, design and the use of nitrogen was crucial in this breakthrough to achieve a bottle weight of just 6.6 grams.