PETnology Americas 2019 Program Highlight

Extrusion PET Handleware Production Shifts into High Gear


Gary Carr

Vice President of Sales
Bekum Americas Corporation

Gary has worked in the blow molding industry for over 30 years after graduating from Ferris State University with a B.S. degree in Plastics Engineering Technology in 1985.
He has held numerous technical sales, marketing, and sales management positions. Gary is currently Vice President of Sales for Bekum America Corporation.
For the last 20 years, Gary has served as a director of the Blow Molding Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers, having served as chairman/co-chairman of its Marketing Committee from 2000 to 2014.
Gary has personally chaired or co-chaired numerous SPE Annual Blow Molding Conferences (ABC) the Industry’s preeminent forum for the latest in Blow Molding technology, including his first in 1999 at the School of Packaging at Michigan State University.
Gary has been a guest speaker at numerous SPE and SME events, as well as the Plastics News Executive forum and World Pak 2002.  He has also been a guest lecturer to the Plastics Engineering Technology programs at both Ferris State University and Penn State Erie.   
Gary has been actively involved in numerous concept-to-production-ready extrusion blow molding projects and considers product and process innovations to be key in future business opportunities. Gary holds a U.S. patent on a unique blow molding machine design.
Gary is married with two daughters.


The extrusion blow molding of PET bottles integrating a true flow-through handle identifiable as #1 recyclable PET has long been a packaging goal for consumer products groups.  The inherent challenge of parison formation with sufficient material hang strength resulted in the development of EBM-specific co-polyester resins, such as PETG.  Extrusion blow moldable co-polyesters have been commercially available for over 30 years, yet, unfortunately, these co-polyester materials are not readily managed in the established PET recycle infrastructure due to their lower drying and melting points.

With the commercialization of high I.V. PET grades with improved hang strength, toughness and reduced crystallization rates, extrusion blow molding of PET handleware became possible.   In order to optimize our PET equipment & processing technology, Bekum worked closely with both the PET material suppliers and a major North American converter to refine the EBM PET process to meet the PET handleware goals of brand owners.


This presentation will highlight the EBM PET handleware development and potential market opportunities.