600 E. Water Street, Suite C Charlottesville, VA 22902


2020 SPC Innovator Awards
Innovation in Recovery Winner:


Graham Packaging Company: REFPET Generation III


Graham Packaging Company made a creative upgrade to their 33-year-old line of returnable refillable PET containers and addressed a nagging deficiency: the inevitable scuffing of reusable PET containers, which limits their practical number of reuse cycles once the container’s aesthetic properties become unacceptable in the market. Graham Packaging Company added texture to the container in the form of small bubbles at the areas most prone to scuffing, so that when that scuffing inevitably occurs, it actually adds aesthetic value by creating the frosted bubble look that many consumers are familiar with, increasing the containers’ average number of reuse cycles from 17 to an impressive 25.

The Importance:

This upgrade is an expression of artful ingenuity and exemplifies the idea that a problem can be solved by accepting it rather than seeking to avoid it. This small tweak is much more than a superficial adjustment to the visual appearance of the container – it addresses a meaningful challenge to the practical number of reuse cycles for the container – and does this by adding aesthetic value rather than simply mitigating a loss. 

“We are honored to have been selected to receive the Innovator Award for Innovation in Recovery for our REFPET bottle,” said Tracee Auld, Chief Sustainability Officer at Graham Packaging Company. “For us, sustainability is a part of everything we do, and innovation is core to who we are. To be recognized by a body such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition says a lot about where we are already and where we need to continue to focus our efforts to deliver innovative, sustainable products.”

A well-deserved round of applause in congratulating these three outstanding organizations for their forward sustainable packaging thinking. Together, minds like these make the world a more circular place. 

Learn more link: https://www.grahampackaging.com/technology-innovation/pet





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