|Design Trends: Sustainability|
PLA bottle is used for a Noble cause
Demonstrating its fresh thinking, Blue Lake Citrus Products, LLC, Winter Haven, FL, has become the first company to offer all-natural and organic juice beverages in bottles made from NatureWorks(R) PLA polylactide resin, a biodegradable, compostable polymer derived from renewable resources. Explains Blue Lake president Wade J. Groetsch, the company selected the bio-based resin from NatureWorks LLC (www.natureworksllc.com) for the material's eco-friendly advantages. "We are always researching new ways to reduce packaging waste and energy in the production of packaging products such as our new bottle," he says.
Since last September, Blue Lake has offered its lines of Noble All Natural and Noble Organics premium juices in a clear, 32-oz PLA bottle molded by Consolidated Container Corp. (www.cccllc.com) using an existing, custom mold. Dubbed the "E bottle" by Blue Lake, the package provides a clarity comparable to the company's previous polyethylene terephthalate bottle, as well as a sufficient oxygen barrier for the products' 60-day shelf life. Noble juices are cold-packed, so PLA's lower melt index is not an issue during filling. "However, we do have to control the temperature of the transportation and warehousing of bottles," Groetsch relates.
Based on its 2006 sales, Blue Lake estimates that the switch to PLA will save the fossil-fuel equivalent of burning 114,000 gal of gasoline and will save greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to driving a car more than 2.7 million miles in the U.S