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Chemical Packaging: Plastic Shatters Costs of Glass

Thu, 07/12/2007 - 8:19am
When Spectrum Chemicals & Laboratory Products, a division of Spectrum Chemical Mfg. Corp., decided to switch from amber glass bottles to plastic bottles, it needed a high-quality plastic that would be compatible with most of its products. The company decided to switch from glass to HDPE bottles to reduce shipping costs and prevent possible breakage. The plastic bottles also lowered costs to customers by 25-50 percent.

Spectrum manufactures and sells 15,000 different chemicals to a variety of industries. "We produce high-purity chemicals," explains Bill House, director of operations, "so we have to use plastic that doesn't leach molecules or residue into the chemicals. HDPE was our choice for this reason."

Prior to the conversion to HDPE, all of Spectrum's chemicals were packaged in 4 L, 1 L, and 500 ml glass bottles, which had to be PVC-coated or dipped for safety reasons. "If they broke, they had a plastic shield around them," explains House. "It was a very costly process." Spectrum turned to Novapak Corp. to replace its 1 L and 500 ml glass bottles with unpigmented HDPE plastic bottles of the same sizes. The company had already switched its 4 L glass bottles to HDPE in 1997 with great success and decided to complete the switch to plastic when Novapak introduced its new 1 L and 500 ml HDPE bottles. All three plastic bottles sport the same 38/439 neck, reducing cap inventory. Jose Luis DeLeon, warehouse manager, says the plastic neck openings are wider than the glass ones, making them easier to fill and pour.

More information is available by contacting Novapak Corp., Eatontown, NJ, at 800-975-2784 or www.pvcc.com.

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