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Alpla wins international awards for extrusion blow moulding development


Alpla received the PackTheFuture award for its work in promoting the innovation potential and sustainability of plastic packaging in Europe

Global packaging moulder Alpla has won two awards for its work in sustainability.

The firm, based in Hard, Austria, has been working with partners to develop foaming technology in extrusion blow moulding (EBM) for around four years.

After receiving the Smart Packaging award from the Austrian government in 2014, this sustainable procedure has now also received the PackTheFuture and WorldStar awards.

Alpla chief executive Günther Lehner, said: “These industry awards highlight the potential of foaming for more sustainable packaging solutions.”

Alpla has been using foaming technology in the production of EBM plastic bottles as a result of research and cooperation with Unilever and MuCell.

In microcellular foaming technology, a gas is injected into the middle layer of the bottle wall. This creates bubbles in the material, similar to the structure of a honeycomb. Plastic consumption and weight are reduced by up to 15%.

Alpla has been producing shower gel bottles in Lübeck for the European market for Unilever using this procedure since 2014.

According to its own figures, Unilever will save up to 275 tonnes of plastic per year across Europe for this product line. The technology will be installed in other Alpla sites soon for customers in the body care and household products industries.

“The thickness of the material is reduced, but the thickness of the wall remains the same. The bottles therefore have practically the same high level of functionality in the bottling plants and during transportation and handling as conventional EBM bottles,” said René Plattner, head of packaging management at Alpla.