Rigid bottles are everywhere in the consumer packaged goods industry. Bottles containing everything from apple sauce and orange juice to hand soap and shampoo crowd grocery store shelves.
Unfortunately, rigid bottles also crowd the nation’s landfills. While typically made of recyclable plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), very few of those bottles are actually recycled.
According to the EPA, only about 30% of PET and HDPE plastic bottles are recycled. This low recycling rate is compounded by the fact that rigid bottles are extremely raw-material intensive. Heavy and bulky even when empty, rigid bottles contribute a significant share of America’s plastic waste each year. However, a viable alternative is taking the packaging industry by storm.
The Environmental Benefits of Spouted Pouches
Spouted pouches have emerged as a key competitor to the ubiquitous rigid bottle, and with good reason. In keeping with the reduce/reuse/recycle goals of a circular economy, spouted pouches are a prime example of “reduce.” When compared to rigid PET and HDPE bottles, life cycle assessments prove that spouted pouches offer many environmental advantages:
- Thin and lightweight, they require dramatically less plastic than a rigid bottle.
- Fewer fossil fuels are consumed in their production and transport.
- They are responsible for significantly lower overall greenhouse gas emissions.
- Considerably less water is used in their manufacturing.
Those benefits are readily apparent at the landfill stage. When the actual plastic recycling rate is considered, the use of a spouted pouch slashes the volume of landfill waste compared to rigid PET and HDPE bottles. The logic is simple: less plastic used up front means less plastic goes to the landfill afterward.
The Performance Characteristics of Spouted Pouches
This new style of packaging is not just environmentally sound. It also offers many functional benefits.
Nearly any liquid that you would put in a rigid bottle can be packaged in a spouted pouch instead. They offer the same refillable, re-closable, mess-free pouring performance of a bottle.
The environmental advantages noted above are extended when spouted pouches are used as a “refill” delivery vehicle. Instead of using bottle after bottle to package liquids, sell refills in spouted pouches.
As with rigid bottles, spouted pouches are pourable and resealable but are considerably lighter and less bulky, making them perfect for consumption on the go.
Essentially a flexible package with a spout instead of a zipper, spouted pouches can be manufactured with high-barrier films that protect the contents and extend shelf life.
Spouted pouches are based on flexible packaging technology, making them readily adaptable to many different shapes and sizes.
Three Key Uses for Spouted Pouches
The next time you’re at the grocery store, pay special attention to what you see on the shelf. Odds are, you will notice something different. Three industries are quickly embracing the many advantages of spouted pouches.
1) Food and beverages
Food and beverage companies have found that spouted pouches are ideal for packaging small quantities of liquid foods. Baby food, juices, sauces, salad dressings and cooking oils are among the most common uses.
2) Household products
Laundry products – including detergents and softeners – are increasingly sold in spouted pouches. Likewise, this new style of packaging has become popular for dish and hand soap refills.
3) Beauty and personal care
The beauty products industry is transitioning to spouted pouches as well. In addition to shampoo and conditioner refills, you may soon find your favorite face masks, oils and serums sold in pouches instead of bottles.
Taylor: Spouted Pouches and Much More
Taylor is a trusted partner to prominent brands throughout the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. We’re constantly investing in the latest prime labels and packaging technology to help our customers capture market share at the point of sale.
Those investments have extended to our flexible packaging capabilities. Taylor has the specialized equipment necessary to manufacture spouted pouch closures – opening up this fast-growing packaging category to our customers.
Looking for a more environmentally friendly alternative to the rigid bottle? Contact a Taylor representative to learn more about our spouted pouch capabilities.