Re: greenyes-d Digest V98 #24

Katharine Bennett (
Tue, 29 Dec 1998 18:44:29 -0700

I tell you what, I'm still concerned about PEN off-gassing naphtha
compounds into the beer or any other liquid in these new bottles. Remember
the first plastic soda bottles? They were PVC and they were pulled off the
shelves because of chlorinated compounds off-gassing into the soda. Traces
of chlorine were found in the fatty tissue of people drinking soda from the
PVC bottles. These new PEN bottles are going to be shoved down the
consumers' collective throat, with nary a complaint from the consumers if
they don't know any better!

>Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 11:14:22 -0600
>From: "RecycleWorlds" <>
>To: "GreenYes" <>, "EnviroLink" <>
>Subject: [GRRN] Plastic Beer Bottles
>Message-ID: <01be3285$83016b20$0eb7b8c7@compaq>
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>There is an article in the 12/21/98 Plastics News ("Shell Heats Up Beer
>Market," by Frank Esposito) that suggests that:
> 1. The plastic beer bottle vendors may be targeting premium brand
>beers as well as the lower grade beers. I wonder whether that this may be
>an additional inference from the statement by Shell's Ed Sisson, PEN
>Business Development Manager, that their new PEN copolymer bottle "can
>produce beer bottles with the traditional 'champagn' base. Beer marketers
>want to retain the base to differentiate plastic beer bottles from similar
>bottles used for soft drinks and juice, according to Ed Sisson."
> 2. The target container has previously been thought to be intended to
>displace glass bottles. However, it may be that displacement is especially
>targeted at cans down the road. Sisson also is quoted stating: "'We believe
>the beer market will evolve in two tiers,' Sisson said. 'The first market
>will be sports venues and beaches and places where you can't use glass or
>metal. The second tier will be in the substitution phenomena where plastic
>bottles will gain an advantage over cans.'"
>This is important for evaluating whether beer can be introduced in plastic
>bottles without either increasing the cost to process all PET bottles or
>lowering the value received for the recycled PET bottles. That is because
>any of the technologies used to provide the additional barrier protection
>required by beer over that required by soft drinks will leave some residue
>of the barrier material in the PET flake. Since there is some trace level
>of such contaminant below which the resulting deterioration in performance
>will be below the threshold for recycled bottles, the more plastic beer
>bottles, the harder it will be to remain below that threshold.
>By way of further reference to guage how many beer bottle may be shifted
>from glass and/or aluminum to glass, refer to the following table--
> _____________
> 1997
> (billions of container units)
> Beer Soft Drink Other
>GLASS 16.7 0.9 17.9
>ALUMINUM 34.2 62.6 0
>PLASTIC 0* 21.4 10.7**
>Peter Anderson
>RecycleWorlds Consulting
>4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
>Madison, WI 53705-4964
>Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011