If a circular economy is to be realised, it will be necessary to consistently recycle post-consumer thermoformed PET trays back into PET trays. The recycling of regrind from post-consumer PET trays to new sheet for PET trays presents challenges for the recycling process: With the new MRSjump extruder, Gneuss offers a system with which it is possible to process post-consumer PET regrind from thermoformed trays directly to sheet for thermoforming trays in one step. Without the need for thermal pre-treatment of the PET regrind, or to make pellets first and then feed the pellets into the sheet extruder and with EFSA and FDA food contact certification. The new MRSjump Extruder combines the high decontamination performance of the MRS degassing extruder with a viscosity boost:
- The extrusion process does not necessitate any pre- or post-treatment of the input material, such as crystallisation or pre-drying of the recycled material or an IV boost in a solid state polycondensation (SSP).
- The degassing efficiency makes it possible to comply with EFSA and FDA limits without time- and cost-intensive upstream or downstream material treatment.
- The set-up direct extrusion process avoids the combination of different material treatments prior or subsequent to extrusion and resulting interface problems.
- Thanks to the short process chain, the melt remains within a narrow, defined residence time spectrum. The thermal and mechanical stress on the material is kept low.
- The compact design of the MRSjump Extrusion System: it has a small footprint, it can easily be retrofitted to an existing sheet line within the same spare requirements.
- It can processes a wide range of input materials, from regrind from mono- and multi-layer trays to material combinations.
- In combination with the Gneuss Rotary Filtration Technology high melt purity is guaranteed.
- Quality assurance is provided by optional systems for measuring melt viscosity and optical properties (colour and transparency measurement).
With the innovative MRSjump Extruder Gneuss offers an optimum solution for post-consumer tray-to-tray recycling, which meets all requirements of completely circular modern food packaging. Recycling and decontamination are for the first time made possible with the MRSjump Extruder, within one single extrusion step without upstream or downstream material treatment steps. This opens up new possibilities for the recycling of tray regrind.