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Plastipak Newsroom

2010 - Plastipak Commercializes its ThermoShape™ Hot-Fill Technology

PLYMOUTH, MI, October 10, 2010, 2010/PLASTIPAK HOLDINGS, INC - GBTC

ThermoShape™ Breakthrough
Plastipak has successfully commercialized its breakthrough ThermoShape™ lightweight hot fill technology with an integrated high-speed blow and fill packaging line now in full commercial operation in numerous facilities. The original launch of this innovative packaging technology occurred at Al Ain Mineral Water Company, a beverage subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based Agthia Group (United Arab Emirates). Agthia is a leading Gulf Cooperation Council area food and beverage manufacturer. A ThermoShape™ line is now in place at a beverage manufacturer in France, as well.

Technological Advantages
Plastipak's Director of Technology Integration Jean-Guy Delage, said, "ThermoShape™ technology offers several significant advantages over alternative packaging options for the global non-refrigerated, high acid-sensitive beverage and food market segments, which include beverages such as 100% fruit and vegetable juice and juice drinks, non carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink (RTD) teas, flavored waters, and functional drinks."

Multiple Savings Features
Specifically, he cited:
• Hot Fill is a proven, low-risk technology requiring less capital investment than aseptic filling. It further avoids the use of preservatives that are rapidly falling out of favor with consumers globally.
• Lightweight Bottle — ThermoShape™ enables food and beverage producers to use existing hot fill process lines, but with the additional benefit of converting to lighter weight, unbreakable PET packaging. For instance, the Al Ain ThermoShape™ bottle was more than 30% lighter than a typical PET hot fill bottle of similar volume.
• Design Freedom — Because ThermoShape™ technology eliminates the need for vacuum-resistant features that are necessary to accommodate conventional PET hot fill processes, producers now have greater freedom to design attractive, eye-catching packages.
• Load Resistance — Bottles produced and filled using the ThermoShape™ process have slightly positive internal pressure, providing superior vertical load resistance for packaging and distribution.
• Extended Shelf Life without Deformation — With Plastipak's patented ThermoShape™ technology, bottles have a shelf life of up to 12 months at ambient temperature. This technology also ensures that there is no bottle deformation due to standard loss of oxygen in the bottle headspace or water loss through PET bottle walls.

Original Successful Line
Initial production at Al Ain was for a 25-gram, 500-milliliter bottle with a 38-millimeter finish for a juice package. The flexibility of the line allows for expansion to produce 250-millimeter and 1-liter bottles. Fasahat Beg, general manager of Al Ain Water, said, "This investment will enable us to enter value-added beverage segments such as sports drinks and juices while using at least 30% less PET than the existing hot fill bottling lines in the market. This, in turn, means delivery on both cost and energy savings for the company and further demonstrates our corporate social responsibility commitment of reducing our environmental impact."

Customer Satisfaction
Commenting further, Agthia CEO Ilias Assimakopoulos said, "Al Ain Water's investment in the new first-class ThermoShape™ technology will enable Agthia to advance further in line with its product diversification strategy. In addition, this investment is an added confirmation of our commitment to continuously deliver innovative high-quality products to our customers."

Small Footprint
The line was designed, commissioned, and installed by Plastipak, and features globally patented, in-line heat-based reshaping of bottles after they are hot filled. Delage added, "Because of its innovative design, the ThermoShape™ system easily fits into a small footprint space, allowing existing glass or plastic hot fill lines to convert to the ThermoShape™ system seamlessly."

2010 - Plastipak Continues to Reach High Goals

PLYMOUTH, MI, January 17, 2010, 2010/PLASTIPAK HOLDINGS, INC - GBTC

Plastipak is serious about being a good steward of the environment. By 2009, the company had instituted several ongoing programs and key initiatives to help make their products even more environmentally friendly.

Lightweighting Programs
Plastipak has several lightweighting programs going on today. Lightweighting is the technical process of reducing the weight of the plastic bottle, often by fractions of grams, while maintaining functionality, durability, and consumer eye appeal. Lightweighting is designed to:

-- Reduce the resin content of the bottle
-- Produce a bottle at less cost
-- Save transportation costs
-- Use less electricity

Plastipak is committed to continuing innovation in the area of "lightweighting."

1881 Finish Developments
The 1881 Finish Project was a program driven by the International Society of Beverage Technologists to reduce the weight of the carbonated beverage "finish" (bottle necks). This was significant because up to 25% of the bottle's weight is in the neck,  but the project was not the usual lightweighting effort. The new finish still had to withstand the internal pressure from carbonated beverages, which required a new cap design.

Plastipak was a participant in this project supported by their key beverage customers. Late in 2008, they began the 1881 conversion. On average, they were able to reduce the weight by 1.38 grams per bottle.

This project continued through 2009 as Plastipak expected to be fully converted by the end of 2010.

ThermoShape™

ThermoShape™ is Plastipak's own patented technology. This breakthrough process involves lightweighting and reshaping a hot fill bottle. The company expects ThermoShape™ to offer:

-- Significant resin savings
-- The ability to use existing blow molding/filling lines
-- Increased bottle design flexibility and freedom

Products that could benefit from ThermoShape™ include sports drinks, juice and juice drinks, food and nutritional supplements, and other hot filled beverages.

Multi-layered HDPE

An important part of Plastipak's sustainability efforts involve the reuse of post-consumer recycled materials. By producing multi-layered HDPE containers for non-food products like detergents and cleaning products, they are able to use recycled material within the middle layer of these containers. This maximizes the use of recycled plastic that has been collected from homes and offices and  sent to recycling facilities.

These containers are stamped with a symbol on the bottom of the bottle identifying them as HDPE plastic.

2009 - Plastipak Meets High Standards for Workplace Safety in 2009

PLYMOUTH, MI, January 24, 2010, 2010/PLASTIPAK HOLDINGS, INC - GBTC

Plastipak continues to demonstrate safety and environmental improvements year after year, including a policy for reducing on-the-job accidents that has produced a significant reduction in lost time for 2009.

Plastipak provides a safe workplace for all of its associates. Safety training begins on the first day of an associate's employment. This includes:

-- on-the-job training
-- learning all local, state and federal workplace safety regulations that apply
-- directions for identifying and reporting safety violations and potential hazards to the proper management

Plastipak safety guidelines are effectively communicated to all associates to ensure that each person is responsible for making sure that the workplace is a safe environment.

Plastipak requires each associate to be individually responsible for reporting unsafe conditions to his or her immediate supervisor, the safety director, and the safety team so that situations can be addressed quickly before an accident occurs.

In addition, associates must report all injuries and accidents, including near misses. All sites work to reduce the number of accidents and to create a safer work environment.

When associates have a good safety record, the entire site team celebrates their successes. From among all of Plastipak Holdings' manufacturing sites, the company recognizes the "best of the best" in safety performance with a corporate award.

Company safety policies resulted in fewer accidents in 2009 than in the two previous years. Plastipak is proud that its rate is less than the national average of 6.5 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Since 2007, Plastipak's record for time lost due to accidents has steadily declined to 1.9. That means associates have had fewer accidents that affected their jobs.

When compared to the national accident statistic of 3.7 as reported by the BLS, Plastipak's rate is lower than this average, as well.

2009 - Plastipak Leverages Powerful Networking Contracts

PLYMOUTH, MI, Oct. 8, 2009, 2009/PRNewswire-FirstCall/

Expanded Logistics
Under contracts with AT&T totaling $2.25 million for wireless and networking communications services, Plastipak has expanded its logistical flexibility for the convenience of employees, suppliers and customers.

Reliable International Service
One contract specifies AT&T's Virtual Private Networking solution as the service of choice for Plastipak's international operations. This broadened capability gives Plastipak dependable access to company data and applications from any location, at any time. This system provides the solid yet flexible infrastructure that will best serve Plastipak in the development of future technological innovations.

Limitless Connection
The company also wanted unlimited connection while on the go, and from the same provider. Under another contract, AT&T provides smartphones and cell phones featuring quality wireless worldwide coverage. These phones deliver voice service in more than 215 countries. In the United States, Plastipak employees can access the nation's fastest 3G network with AT&T. The company believes this enhanced capability will stimulate productivity and collaboration.

Building It Better
"Our passion for performance at Plastipak requires the ability to speedily connect with our customers and partners around the world," said Dave Daugherty, CIO, Plastipak. "With AT&T as our primary global provider, we're together developing technology strategies that increase our business velocity."

Additional Features
This agreement further affords Plastipak the use of AT&T's award-winning BusinessDirect®, a customer-focused service giving the company immediate access to current network performance data. Also included is a complete mobility management solution, and a direct connection to facilitate electronic billing and ordering.

Source: www.4-traders.com

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