Shattering Glass

Bonnie Howard March 24, 2015


AntandJar_newAs food packaging goes, consumers love glass. It’s been around forever and despite some obvious disadvantages – fragility, weight, safety – it’s the trusted and proven packaging for health, taste and the environment. Despite an increasing appetite for plastic food packaging amongst European consumers, PET glass replacement technology has had to work hard to compete. With food jars in particular, there has been issues with clarity, hotfill capability and pasteurisation.

In a groundbreaking move back in 2013, APPE launched its first generation ThermaLite® 100% PET jar as a glass replacement. Capable of hot-fill and pasteurisation, the revolutionary octagonal design achieved a WorldStar Packaging Award and further accolades including a category winner at the Plastics Industry Awards.


Following the success of this award-winning jar, we have since extended the range through the launch of five new round jars designed specifically for the food market. The jars can be hot or cold-filled at temperatures up to 95°C and pasteurised at a slightly lower temperature with most methods of pasteurisation. This next generation of ThermaLite jars represents a considerable step-change in the ability to use PET jars in the hot-filling and pasteurisation of food products and APPE is delighted to be the only packaging specialist in Europe to offer this technology.

Thermalite Range Group EmptyThe new additions to the range reflect the confidence that we have in the product, plus the very substantial filler, retail and consumer benefits ThermaLite brings to the market. Available in five sizes from 212ml to 720ml, all with a neck size of 63mm, the new round jars are perfect for food applications such as cooking sauces, pasta sauces, pesto, tomato-based products, pickled vegetables, relishes, chutneys, fruit purées, jams and spreads. And they are up to 85% lighter than glass.


For fillers, the shatterproof jars can be used on glass filling lines with little or no modification required. Line downtime and batch spoilage due to breakage is virtually eliminated and noise levels in the production environment are also significantly reduced. Less secondary packaging is required and therefore the carbon footprint is reduced.

Regular twist-off metal caps are used with ThermaLite. Not only does this provide benefits in the filling line, but also ensures familiarity and convenience to the consumer.

NEW Consumer benefitsBecause of the lightweight nature of the jars, they make a significant contribution to carbon footprint savings. Taking the 375ml jar for example – with the weight saving over the glass equivalent and the slightly smaller footprint, around 19% more ThermaLite jars can be transported in the logistical chain than glass counterparts. Based on a volume of 10 million jars, this equates to around 73 or 24% less trucks being used in comparison to glass.

For retailers, breakage and spoilage is also greatly reduced, increasing safety for consumers and employees. As the jars are shatterproof, the opportunity for cross-selling is increased. Sauces can be displayed alongside fresh food and in other areas of the store inaccessible to glass.

NEW Retailer benefitsPlus, with the small physical footprint, more SKUs can be fitted in to the same physical space. The lower carbon footprint associated with the jar can greatly contribute to carbon-reduction commitments, such as the Courtauld agreement.

And for consumers, the benefits of ThermaLite are numerous. The perfect clarity of the jar allows the contents to be clearly seen and creates excellent on-shelf impact. The jars are easy to open and reclose, with the metal twist-off cap providing familiarity. Easy to grip, pour and hold, the lightweight containers are also easy to recycle from home.


APPE continues to work with customers in the development and manufacture of PET bottles and jars for a wide variety of food products, ensuring effective product promotion and protection. And as other opportunities emerge in markets where plastic bottles have yet to make a major impact, APPE will be utilising its innovation and advanced technologies to make market penetration gains as consumer and sustainability demand continue to evolve.

The company is a market-leader in the design and manufacture of rigid plastic packaging solutions for a wide variety of end markets including food, drinks, alcohol, personal care and household products. With manufacturing facilities in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Morocco, and Turkey, APPE is able to offer customers both a localised and pan-European service. APPE is also the European leader in the recycling of PET containers and the largest producer of high quality food grade rPET resin.