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Packaging innovation offers clear advantage

Eastman Chemical Company : 22 October, 2003  (Application Story)
Using Eastman
To gain an edge in the highly competitive reusable beverage container market, Arrow Plastic Manufacturing Company teamed up with Eastman Chemical Company to develop an innovative product line. Using Eastman’s Eastar copolyester GN046, Arrow pioneered a tough beverage container that’s as clear as glass and holds up to continual reuse.

Arrow’s new Clear Classics Refrigerator Bottles and Slimline Beverage Containers combine the best features of glass and plastic into sleek, low profile containers that hold up to two gallons of liquid, yet utilize refrigerator space more efficiently than conventional containers. Arrow’s products offer crystal clarity as well as good organoleptic properties. The containers essentially behave just like glass in that they don’t impart odours to or absorb any from the container’s contents. They also recycle cleanly and meet FDA guidelines for food safety.

Excellent melt strength made Eastar copolyester GN046 the perfect material for an extrusion blow moulding process. Combined with ruggedness, the copolyester’s melt strength allowed Arrow to create larger 1- and 2-gallon bottles. Plus existing moulds were used with little modification.

“That’s the beauty of GN046 . . . it runs on existing PVC equipment with little modification,” says Courtland Jenkins, Eastman business market manager. “And its melt strength is improved over other copolyesters, making it ideal for the wide variety of shapes and sizes commonly found in beverage containers.”

From a processing standpoint, Arrow found GN046 a more forgiving material to work with. But the balance of sparkling clarity, low odour and recycling ability really sold Arrow on the Eastman material. They were able to transform an ordinary container into an extraordinary kitchen utility. Molded in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, these new containers accommodate a broad range of refrigerator configurations and include convenience features such as carrying handles, drip-proof spigots and leakproof caps.

The key to success in retailing is making high-quality products that are unique and economical. And Eastar copolyester GN046 allowed Arrow to do just that. “We want to differentiate ourselves by continuously enhancing our products to meet the needs of modern consumers. And in that respect, Eastman has been a valuable partner,” remarks John Coursey, Arrow co-owner and vice president of sales and marketing.

GN046 is the latest in Eastman’s initiatives to develop recyclable, odor-free PVC alternatives that provide durability and processing ease for extrusion blow molders. The new container line is available at leading grocery, discount and drug retail stores.
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