Canadian Packaging

Sidel provides local healthcare players in France with bottles for hydro-alcoholic gel

By Sidel   


In the fight against COVID-19, Sidel has transformed its international centre of excellence for PET packaging development and blowing solutions in France into a production centre and launched an exceptional production of bottles for hydro-alcoholic gel. A first batch of 5,000 PET plastic bottles for the disinfectant has already been provided to the Hospital of Dijon and an additional one has been distributed for Le Havre (Normandy) town’s pharmacies and hospitals.

In France, just like anywhere else at the moment, there is a high demand for hydro-alcoholic gel for sanitisation. Therefore, the French government issued a general plea for assistance as regards the production of the currently scarcely available product. Several industries as well as hospitals have responded to the call and are producing the gel. However, healthcare players are facing difficulties to distribute it to their employees as the gel is being produced in big size containers.

“With collaborative skills and agile and creative work, our engaged employees were able to transform our centre of excellence into a small production centre in only two days,” says Vincent Le Guen, Vice President Packaging at Sidel. A first request was received from the Hospital of Dijon in the middle of March asking to provide small size containers in order to package the hydro-alcoholic gel. The company responded quickly and found the right raw materials and cooperation partners to produce the bottles – these are made from an existing Sidel’s 500 ml mould and the preforms were provided by a key beverage player while the sport caps were supplied by a cap manufacturer. The sport closure allows controlling the gel flow and keeping it safe.

Within one week, the first 5,000 PET bottles have already been sent to the Hospital of Dijon.


In the meantime, other similar initiatives have started. “We got in contact with a local deputy in Normandy and discussed how Sidel could support local health players in these challenging times. The deputy informed us that also pharmacies are facing difficulties in gel distribution, therefore, in addition to the 500 ml bottle for hospitals, we quickly designed a smaller – 200 ml – bottle format, which is more user-friendly for individual use to be distributed in the local pharmacies. In total, more than 1,000 bottles were delivered to the local pharmacies on 1st of April, all 100% recyclable and potentially refillable after sterilisation,” continues Vincent.

Sidel have prioritised their business and taken a stand to use available resources in order to support their community. Traditionally, the lab in Octeville-sur-Mer is a packaging development centre dedicated to assist Sidel’s customers’ with their queries about PET packaging design options and their feasibility. The site is usually not dedicated for industrial production.

“This initiative is a gesture of solidarity for our health carers. It will help us make a difference in overcoming the supply shortages that have arisen due to the current situation,” adds Vincent. “Flexibility has long been a centrepiece of our solutions and services. By working in this mode, our weekly production capacity is up to 20,000 bottles and we can handle more requests of this kind. Sidel appeal to the generosity of any business partner in providing additional preforms and caps to keep the business continuity. Moreover, we are also prepared to support other companies who would require moulds to produce bottles on their packaging lines, wishing to take over extra responsibility in the common fight against the virus,” he concludes.

Sidel employees are ready to produce several tens of thousands of bottles for gel for the local needs in the next weeks as much as necessary.

Sidel is a leading provider of equipment and services solutions for packaging beverage, food, home and personal care products in PET, can, glass and other materials.

With over 40,000 machines installed in more than 190 countries, we have nearly 170 years of proven experience, with a strong focus on the factory of tomorrow with advanced systems, line engineering and innovation. Our 5,500+ employees worldwide are passionate about providing solutions that fulfill customer needs and boost the performance of their lines, products and businesses.

Delivering this level of performance requires that we stay flexible. We continuously ensure we understand our customers’ changing challenges and commit to meeting their unique performance and sustainability goals. We do this through dialogue and by understanding the needs of their markets, production and value chains. In turn, we apply our solid technical knowledge and smart data analytics to ensure lifetime productivity reaches its full potential.

We call it Performance through Understanding.

Find out more at and connect with us.


Stories continue below

Category Captains 2022