Consumers’ demand for plastic-bottled water directly correlates to an increased need for those containers. Population growth, waterborne diseases, and a scarcity of tap water contribute to the high demand for bottled water. In addition, bottled mineral water is purified and fortified with dissolved minerals, providing additional health benefits to wellness-conscious consumers.
However, more bottles produced by plastic molding machines increase the environmental impact of these containers. The majority of plastic water bottles come from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a petroleum-based resin.
The production of PET resin emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Additionally, most bottles end up in landfills, where they take hundreds of years to degrade.
Injection blow molding businesses have begun to focus on light-weighting their products to address these concerns.
What Is Light-Weighting?
Light-weighting involves reducing the amount of material used in a product without compromising its structural integrity. It is a common strategy by bottle manufacturers to reduce the plastic used by injection blow molding machinery.
One way to lightweight a PET bottle is to increase the use of preforms. Through blowing, preforms turn into bottles on high-speed plastic molding machines. By using a thinner preform, manufacturers use less plastic.
Another way to lightweight a PET bottle is by using a thinner wall thickness. You can reduce wall thickness by using a multilayer structure or stretching the bottle during production. The result is a thinner-walled bottle with the same dimensions as a standard bottle.
Advantages of Light-Weighting
Light-weighting offers many advantages for both the manufacturer and the consumer.
For the manufacturer, light-weighting can reduce production costs. Using less material in producing a bottle can lead to lower raw material costs. In addition, lighter bottles require less energy to produce, further saving costs.
Light-weighting also offers environmental benefits. Reducing the amount of plastic used in each bottle can help reduce the carbon footprint of plastic molding machines. In addition, lighter bottles use less energy and resources to transport.
For the consumer, light-weighting offers both financial and environmental benefits. Lighter bottles cost less to purchase and generate less waste. In addition, more lightweight bottles require less energy and resources to recycle. For environmentally-conscious consumers, lightweight bottles are a more logical choice.
Challenges of Light-Weighting
Despite the many advantages of light-weighting, some challenges need addressing.
One challenge is maintaining the structural integrity of the bottle. A lightweight bottle has thinner walls, making the bottle more susceptible to punctures and leaks.
In addition, it can be more challenging to recycle lightweight bottles. The thinner walls can make the bottle more fragile and less likely for recycling facilities to accept.
Another challenge is that lightweight bottles can sometimes have a shorter shelf life. Thinner walls can allow oxygen and other gases to permeate the bottle, leading to accelerated degradation of the contents.
Despite these challenges, light-weighting is a promising strategy for reducing the environmental impact of bottled water. By using less plastic used in a plastic molding machine, manufacturers can help to reduce their carbon footprint. In addition, lighter bottles use less energy and resources to transport and recycle.
Addressing the Challenges
To address the challenges of light-weighting, injection blow molding machine manufacturers are working on developing new materials and technologies.
One promising development is the use of biodegradable plastics. These plastics come from renewable resources which microorganisms can break down. These bottles will not likely end up in landfills or pollute the environment.
Another promising development is the use of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology can create more robust and lighter materials. This tech could potentially help to improve the structural integrity of lightweight bottles.
Plasma coating is another technology showing much promise. Plasma coating provides additional protection to PET bottles, coating bottles with a film 50 nanometers thick. Bottles with plasma coating remain recyclable.
In addition to all these, manufacturers are working on developing new recycling technologies specific to lightweight bottles.
What Does the Future Hold for Light-Weighting?
The future of light-weighting is promising. Manufacturers will continue to develop new materials and technologies and address the challenges of light-weighting. In due time plastic molding machines will produce lighter bottles that are more environmentally friendly.
Do you have any questions about light-weighting? Don’t hesitate to contact Pet All Manufacturing Inc., one of Canada’s leading injection blow molding machine manufacturers. We are happy to answer any of your queries and offer you services that fit your business.