OQ launches environmental stress cracking-resistant beverage bottle to boost security and life cycle
13 Oct 2022 --- OQ, an Oman-based energy company, is including rigid packaging solutions for plastic bottle and closure converters in its portfolio, providing consumers with environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) solutions.
Environmental stress cracking happens when bottles break down due to the chemicals they store. OQ believes it is fixing a market gap by providing rigid packaging bottles and closure solutions to prevent stress cracking from occurring.
The company is releasing Luban DMDA 6200 and DMDZ 6147 for HDPE blow-molded bottles, and Luban EP 2348R and DNDA 8320 for closures.
Trevor Robinson, global head of marketing at OQ tells PackagingInsights the release answers “increasing consumer demand toward hygiene, security and convenience for liquid products consumption.”
“These [OQ solutions] not only drive volume growth of the bottles & closures market but also the need for advanced polymer solutions for more sophisticated application designs.”
“Our solutions provide major advantages across key parameters such as bottle stacking drop performance, ESCR, and processability in molding machines. Moving forward, we will continue to listen to customers in new developments so that our products provide them with maximum benefit,” adds Ali Al Lawati, vice president of global sales at OQ.
Environmental stress cracking
ESCR is the focal point of OQ’s new bottle and closure solutions.
“The Luban DMDZ 6147 offers more than 1,000 hours ESCR to ensure long-term protection of bottles against aggressive chemicals such as bleaches and agrochemicals, giving peace of mind to converters, bottlers and retailers,” says Robinson.
While OQ claims it is innovating in the rigid packaging space to prevent ESCR, last year, Brazilian thermoplastic resin producer Braskem created a new PE resin in rigid plastic packaging. The product was designed to deliver a combination of high rigidity, high impact strength and ESCR.
“You shouldn’t use recycled PE to blow bottles for liquid chemical wastes. Then you will probably take a too large risk with environmental stress cracking, and that is a risk you are not willing to take with liquid chemical waste,” Dr. Eggo Ulphard Thoden van Velzen, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research senior researcher, previously told PackagingInsights, when discussing the importance of material choice when combatting ESCR.
OQ is also focusing on the rising trend of customization for businesses. They believe customers seek increased convenience, customization, and improved aesthetics. “Design freedom in customized closures to customers” is a crucial point of their products, says Robinson.
“These polymer solutions help our customers to design sophisticated bottles & closures sizes, shapes and functionalities,” he continues.
OQ has announced another six products currently in development and coming close to launch. The items once again hone in on high-performance bottles and customized closures.
“Broadness of packaging sizes, functionalities and end-uses drive the need for many polymer grades tuned for different needs,” says Robinson.
They state the bottles will cover a variety of uses and applications, creating small and medium-sized bottles and closures. OQ uses thin-walled bottles and customized closures serving different functional needs designed for the food and beverage, personal and home care and industrial industries.
“We overcome manufacturing challenges by collaborating with our customers and technology partners to identify the key consumer needs across different end-uses and develop a polymer portfolio responding to those needs with the right depth, quality & consistency,” Robinson concludes.
MENA region competitors
In 2020, Oman Refreshment Company launched three new PET bottle formats to meet changing demand for soft drinks within the country. At the time, and still true today, Oman’s carbonated soft drink market was highly consolidated by international companies and dominated by PepsiCo.
PepsiCo is still putting lots of focus on the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Nadeera, a United Arab Emirates-based startup, won PepsiCo’s first Greenhouse Accelerator Program, receiving a US$100,000 grant just a few days ago.
By Sabine Waldeck
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