Stock and Custom Plastic Packaging

Sustainable BottlesEvery day, we hear from customers who are interested in finding sustainable packaging solutions that will work for their products. Many of these companies currently use plastic packaging, but some of them want to move from glass or metal into environmentally-friendly plastics. At Alpha, we believe the “right” sustainable solution depends on each customer’s individual objectives, but there are several materials on which we have focused our efforts because we believe these options offer the best alternatives when it comes to cost, performance and availability.

What is Alpha Packaging doing in the area of Sustainable Packaging?

Alpha Packaging is currently running PET and HDPE bottles with various percentages of post-consumer regrind (PCR), and most PCR containers require a minimum run of 50,000 pieces. Alpha defines PCR as resin that has been used in commercial consumer applications (such as water bottles, vitamin bottles, shampoo bottles, etc.) and returned in community recycling programs to be recycled into new products; we do not consider industrial scrap from the manufacturing process to be post-consumer resin.

Until recently, we also ran polylactide (PLA) bottles made from the Ingeo resin. This is a corn-based bioresin that has held the interest of the packaging industry for the past decade, but we have determined that the amount of waste we generated during the PLA manufacturing process outweighed the environmental benefits, so as of September 2018 we have decided to remove PLA from our list of active resin offerings. We have, however, left PLA as an option in the chart below so you can see how it performs against post-consumer resins we do acitvely run.

How do I know what options are right for me?

Committing to a new packaging material of any kind requires careful consideration, and companies must always make sure that their product is compatible with the new material. In addition, companies should consider a variety of other issues when evaluating sustainable packaging options. A few of those issues are listed below, and you can find more information about PCR by linking to our FAQ page (please see the link at the top of the page).

Things to Consider When Evaluating Sustainable Packaging Materials Post-Consumer PET Post-Consumer HDPE NatureWorks PLA / Ingeo
Is there reliable supply of the raw a materials? Yes Yes Limited, but growing
Is there cost stability for this resin? Yes Yes Depends on volume and supply
How is the clarity of this resin? Good Poor Good
Will this resin give me the performance I need in terms of barrier properties, heat stability, etc? Comparable to Virgin PET Comparable to Virgin HDPE MVTR*is 10x higher than PET
Is this material available in an FDA-approved formulaton and safe for food contact? Yes, from multiple sources Yes, from one source only Yes, from one source only
Is this material recyclable, biodegradable or compostable? Recyclable (SPI code 1 Recyclable (SPI code 2) Compostable under industrial composting conditions

If I am interested in Sustainable Packaging, what should I do first?

Read our FAQs to get more information about the sustainable packaging options from Alpha Packaging, then speak with your Alpha Sales Representative to request samples of our bottles and jars. And, check back to this page frequently – the options for sustainable packaging are constantly evolving, and Alpha is committed to staying on top of those solutions that make the most sense for our customers.