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The EU Single Use Plastics Directive Proposal is currently under the assessment of the European Parliament. The proposal foresees the consumption reduction of PET trays - a circular packaging product with a high amount of recycled content. This goes entirely against the development of the last years, PET sheet manufacturers have been increasing the amount of recyclates in their products steadily.

Waste Free Oceans continuously engages in marine litter clean-ups worldwide and, through “Closing the loop” projects, works with companies to transform the collected waste into innovative and sustainable products. WFO aims to find a balance between providing concrete solutions at source and acting on remediation actions involving a large range of local and regional stakeholders.

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Fifty percent is the ideal recycled bottle content to help meet sustainability objectives and avoid compromising the recycling stream for future lifecycles, according to Phoenix Technologies International, a leading global producer of polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).

Ioniqa is scaling up its technology for infinite PET plastic upcycling: the technology company is building its first PET plastic up-cycling factory in the Netherlands at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen. As of summer 2019, PET plastic waste will be converted into high-grade, pure PET raw material, of which new food packaging will be made.

PepsiCo announced its goal to achieve 50% recycled plastic (rPET) in its bottles by 2030 across the European Union, with an interim target of 45% by 2025. Through this target, the company will more than triple the amount of recycled plastic it uses, equating to over 50,000t of rPET. The announcement comes in support of the European Commission’s voluntary recycled plastics pledging campaign to ensure that by 2025, ten million tonnes of recycled plastics are used to make new products in the EU market.

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and a group of leading bottled water and soft drink manufacturers have launched a report at the House of Commons, which sets out an ambitious roadmap to eliminate plastic packaging waste from the bottled water and soft drinks value chain by 2030. The report, the first of its kind, is set out to enable and encourage other industries and countries to create their own systemic roadmaps and visions to eliminate plastic packaging waste.

Global reverse vending leader Tomra Collection Solutions has been named as one of the container refund point operators for the upcoming container deposit scheme in Queensland, set to launch on November 1. The initiative will contribute to the state’s goal to increase the rate of recycling and reduce the impact of drink container litter in the natural environment, by incentivising consumers to return their empty containers.

DEMETO (Modular, scalable and high-performance DE-polymerization by MicrowavE TechnolOgy) is a European Project financed by the European Community into the framework of the Horizon 2020. The partners of the consortium are working to bring to reality a revolutionary new way to chemically recycle PET, invented by gr3n, which is both sustainable and profitable.

In an effort to provide a consistent metric to guide the efforts of sustainability for plastics in the Circular Economy, two of the leading global international recycling organizations have developed a global definition governing the use of the term “recyclable” as is relates to plastics packaging and products. In the joint announcement, Ton Emans, President of Plastics Recycling Europe, and Steve Alexander, President and CEO of The Association of Plastic Recyclers, pointed to the onslaught of recent announcements around commitments to package sustainability and recyclability.

Avery Dennison will be the first pressure sensitive labelling material supplier to introduce liner made from recycled PET (rPET) commercially in Europe. This move reflects the firm’s commitment to finding more sustainable solutions for the labelling industry.

Arca Continental, the second largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America, launched its Development, Environment, Recycling (DAR in Spanish) program in Ecuador in order to promote a culture of inclusive recycling and boost its PET recovery efforts in the country. Based on the sustainability goals established by Arca Continental and Coca-Cola of collecting and recycling 100% of the primary packaging that goes out to the market by 2030, the program is aimed at creating better economic, social, and organisational conditions for base recyclers.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Sorepla Industrie S.A., a plastics recycling facility in France. Founded in 1991, Sorepla Industrie is one of the largest recyclers in Europe. The facility consists of three production lines; recycled PET (rPET), recycled high density polyethylene (rHDPE) and food-grade pellets, with a combined capacity of 52,000 tonnes per annum.

Neste, a leading producer of renewable diesel, is exploring ways to introduce liquefied waste plastic as a future raw material for fossil refining. The aim of the development project is to proceed to industrial scale trial during 2019. The company’s target is to process annually more than one million tons of waste plastic by 2030.

August 06, 2018 | PET-eating enzyme

Scientists from the University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have engineered an enzyme which can digest some of the most commonly plastics, providing a potential solution to one of the world’s environmental problems. The discovery could result in a recycling solution for millions of tonnes of PET bottles. Professor John McGeehan at the University of Portsmouth and Dr Gregg Beckham at NREL solved the crystal structure of PETase—a recently discovered enzyme that digests PET— and used this 3D information to understand how it works. During this study, they inadvertently engineered an enzyme that is even better at degrading the plastic than the one that evolved in nature.

Plastics Recyclers Europe announced that 78 PET recycling facilities located all over Europe were evaluated. The results point to a PET recycling capacity in Europe of 2.1 million tonnes for 2017. Of the total installed capacity in Europe Germany (27%), France (15%), Italy (14%) and Spain (9%) account for 65% of the PET recycling market. Overall, 1.9 million tonnes of PET plastic waste were transformed into 1.4 million tonnes of recyclates which were used for the production of new articles. According to this data, 200.000 tonnes of PET installed capacity remains unexploited.

Poly Recycling AG in Weinfelden, the PET recycling company of the Resilux Group, intends to relocate to Bilten before the end of the year. The reason is that the current rented location will be claimed by the owner's for own use. After evaluating various scenarios, the choice fell on the location Bilten.

The Co-op is set to implement the UK’s first plastic bottle deposit scheme, becoming an example for retailers to look back upon when implementing their own schemes, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company. As part of a strategy to tackle plastic waste, the UK government’s recent proposal to implement a deposit return scheme on drinks bottles has set the wheels in motion with UK supermarkets. The Co-op is looking to trial its own scheme this summer by implementing bottle depositing vending machines at several popular UK festivals.

Demeto (Modular, scalable and high-performance DE-polymerisation by microwave technology) is a european project financed by the European Community into the framework of the Horizon 2020. The partners of the consortium are working to bring to reality a revolutionary new way to chemically recycle PET, invented by gr3n, which is both sustainable and profitable.

Inspiration for the top of the Plastic Whale boardroom table is a surfacing whale, with its distinctive blowhole and graceful lines. It is made from layers of recycled PET felt, recycled PET foam, and FSC birch wood. While the surface is exquisitely finished using PET felt that has been heated and pressed to give it a luxurious look-and-feel. The table’s legs, which in their design recall a whale’s imposing skeleton, are made of robust FSC oak.

PlasticsEurope supports the overarching objective of the “Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment” presented by the European Commission, namely to reduce marine litter in our seas. PlasticsEurope states that marine litter is a result of a combination of factors, the most important of which being the lack of implementation of waste-related legislation at national/regional level, the lack of proper waste management in some parts of the world and inappropriate littering behaviour.

The European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) announced four industry-wide pledges that aim to increase the collection of PET bottles and the use of recycled PET. This will accelerate the shift towards a more circular European economy.

Werner & Mertz, Alpla and Der Grüne Punkt have been cooperating successfully on the Recyclate-Initiative for many years. The three partners will present the project to an international audience at the PLMA ‘World of Private Label’ trade show on 29 and 30 May. At their joint stand (stand N-3722 in hall 8), they will illustrate the entire cycle of a PET or HDPE bottle made from recycled material – from collection of the plastic waste and processing of the recycled plastics into new packaging through to placing the product on the shop shelf.

Gneuss, West Hall 6473, Gneuss Extrusion Technology will show a Gneuss Processing Unit (GPU) including a Multi Rotation System MRS 130 extruder, a fully automatic melt filtration system RSFgenius 150 and an online viscometer VIS, for the processing of 2,000lbs/h of undried and uncrystallised polyester (PET).

Starlinger, West Hall 6885, A circular economy in plastic packaging is currently on everyone’s agenda. Clearly, the recycling of packaging saves raw material and reduces waste as well as CO2 emissions. Starlinger will present two technologies that help advance closed loop packaging. Recycling is key in achieving a circular economy. But in order to be fit for reuse in production, recycled material needs to match the quality of virgin resin.

Erema, West Hall 1249, Top process and quality standards guarantee the decisive edge in the recycling of clean production waste, with post-consumer material and in PET processing. The trend towards the sustainable handling of plastics combined with the right technology is responsible for the continuing upswing of recycling in the U.S. plastics industry.

Chinaplas, Uhde Inventa-Fischer, Hall 7.2 Booth K25 Market and societal pressures are driving the plastic packaging industry towards a real circular economy (CE). How can the competing interests be met that plastic producers - of PET resin in particular – are challenging?

Chinaplas, Erema, Hall 2 Booth B59 Visitors to the Erema trade fair stand will find out how, using the right technology, they can process not only clean production waste but also even heavily contaminated post-consumer materials to make new raw material. In combination with Erema’s smart digital solutions, this is intended to set a new standard in terms of quality and processes in plastics recycling.

Nestlé announced its ambition to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or re-usable by 2025. Its vision is that none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter. Nestlé believes that there is an urgent need to minimise the impact of packaging on the environment.

Unilever has announced a partnership with the start-up company Ioniqa and the global producer of PET resins Indorama Ventures to pioneer a new technology which converts PET waste back into vergin grade material for use in food packaging.

PET pellets from post-consumer drink bottles provided by PET Recycling Team GmbH, a subsidiary of Alpla, result in greenhouse gas emissions that are only a tenth of the level for new material. This has been confirmed in a recent investigation. Last year, PET Recycling Team (PRT) in Wöllersdorf, Lower Austria, obtained a measurement of the environmental impact of recycled PET (rPET) produced in-house. The calculated value was a carbon dioxide equivalent of 0.45kg for every kilogram of material produced. A new calculation by c7-consult takes into account the now optimised power mix, resulting in a carbon dioxide equivalent of just 0.21kg.

Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water is announcing the introduction of a 700ml bottle made from 100% food grade rPET. The new package is available starting this month on retail store shelves in North America. The new bottles feature a modern, premium design, along with the new branding launched last year under the banner of “Pure Life Begins Now” that aims to elevate the importance of quality water in people’s lives.

Coca-Cola announced the goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030. The company and its global network of bottling partners will tackle the ambitious goal, which is part of a holistic plan called “World Without Waste,” through a renewed focus on the entire packaging lifecycle – from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they’re recycled and repurposed.

Among the many machinery and equipment manufacturers exhibiting at the Plastics Recycling Show Europe, taking place at RAI Amsterdam on 24 and 25 April 2018, Erema and WiPa will showcase new specialist plastic recycling technology. WiPa will feature its new WPP flat die press pelletiser and Erema will present its new business Unit Powerfil as well as the ReFresher, a new anti-odour technology.

PlasticsEurope welcomes the publication by the European Commission of “A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy”. PlasticsEurope supports the creation of a joint vision for a truly circular and resource efficient Europe, the promotion of actions aimed at tackling plastics leakage into the environment, increasing recycling and re-use and boosting innovation. The Strategy calls for the adoption of harmonised rules to ensure that by 2030 all plastic packaging placed on the EU market can be reused, recycled and are not littered.

For many years, the PP*STAR, a pinch bottom bag produced on Starlinger machinery, has been known as a robust and attractive packaging solution for products such as dry pet food, fertiliser, sugar, flour, or rice. Since early 2017, the PP*STAR can be manufactured directly from PET bottle flakes, turning it into the rPET PP*STAR. This sustainable concept has recently been awarded two prizes.

The giant T-Shirt of size 97.5 metres height x 70.08 width made out of recycled plastic waste of 200,000 bottles catapulted Plastindia Foundation into the Guinness World Records. The apex body of plastics industry in India, Plastindia Foundation took up this initiative to create awareness among the masses on the need to manage plastics waste so that it is recycled more efficiently.

Nestlé Waters Iran has been signing a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Institute for Environmental Research at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, to reduce the impact of PET bottles. The 12-month project is intended to help to understand the current PET waste landscape in Iran, before jointly developing an action plan with various stakeholders, such as environmental protection agencies and consumers, to improve the management, collection rates and recycling of PET waste in the country.

The new European project on chemical recycling DEMETO is officially launched. DEMETO aims at enabling chemical de-polymerisation of PET at industrial scale based on its microwave-based process intensification, focusing as a start on coloured bottles waste.

In May 2017, the European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) launched a European survey on the current and future use of recycled plastics materials (rPM) in the Europe’s plastics converting industry. Following a period of 5 months during which 485 participants from 28 different countries filled in the online questionnaire, EuPC now presented the results of the survey to its members.

Three major international plastics recycling organisations have announced a partnership designed to coordinate efforts on testing protocols - The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE), and the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) recently formed the Global Plastics Outreach Alliance with a goal of harmonising relative Design Guides and Testing Protocols, and serve as a coordinated industry voice to create a Global Plastics Protocol.

Recycled PET (rPET) from PET Recycling Team GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alpla based in Wöllersdorf/Lower Austria, results in 79% lower CO2 emissions compared to new material. This is a significantly higher saving than previously assumed. A study conducted by denkstatt GmbH on behalf of Alpla came to this conclusion.

Coca-Cola European Partners has unveiled its new GB sustainable packaging strategy – setting out an ambition for its GB business unit to work with local and national partners to recover all its packaging so that more is recycled and none ends up as litter.

Freudenberg claims to be Europe’s largest user of recycled PET in construction applications. The technology group has been active in recycling since the 1990s. The company’s plants in Novedrate and Pisticci Scalo, Italy, as well as in Colmar, France, recycle millions of PET bottles every day. The purified recyclate is processed into nonwovens that are used in construction, for example as substrates for bituminous waterproof membranes.

Carbios, a company in the field of bioplasturgy, announces that it has taken a new step forward with the production of PET oligomers made out of terephthalic acid coming from its biorecycling process of PET plastic bottles.

The manufacturer of recycling systems is relying on new production processes with the optimum use of resources in its production of assembly groups. The new approach enables reduced production lead times for the individual assembly groups, such as melt filters and pelletisers, while at the same time increasing product quality.

The Starlinger recoStar PET bottle-to-bottle recycling line which has been installed in April 2016 in the plastics recycling facility of the Canadian water bottler Ice River Springs in Feversham, Ontario, is said to deliver excellent production results.

Following tests on the Nature MultiPack the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) has confirmed that it can be fully recycled. The adhesive specially developed and supplied by NMP Systems and KHS has thus been granted interim approval for further market tests in Europe until June 30, 2019. The adhesive on the unique Nature MultiPack packaging system has no adverse effect on the rPET. Further tests shall be run to enable permanent approval to be granted.

The City of Buenos Aires, in partnership with San Diego-based CP Group, opened an advanced recycling system in Argentina. The new 10 TPH residential single stream recycling system began running last October in Villa Soldati, a neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. Since then it has helped the city achieve its sustainability goals.

Spectra have reported an increase in customers using their Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) materials for their packaging. The company has made great strides in providing environmental alternatives for brands seeking a sustainable outcome, with PCR orders growing rapidly according to Gavin Chenery, Commercial Director at Spectra.

Amut Ecotech, Recycling Division of Amut Group, has supplied for Edwa city of Minya Governorate, Egypt a municipal solid waste recycling facility for the management of recyclable materials. The plant is planned to go into operation by June 2017.

Thanks to a 5% increase in turnover the consolidated sales of the Erema Group reached EUR 138 million in the 2016/17 financial year. The Group's two youngest sister companies Pure Loop and Umac recorded a strong turnover result shortly after being founded.

HSM GmbH + Co. KG, a German manufacturer of baling presses, PET solutions and document shredders, will be exhibiting three new machines from the vertical baling press series HSM V-Press. Their performance and longevity make them an economical waste management solution.

The most common strategy deployed by many water bottlers to meet sustainability initiatives has been to significantly lightweight their PET containers. However, a recent study found that oftentimes these bottles might meet consumer expectations for convenience and price, but may not minimise the carbon footprint.

Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water announced that it has dramatically increased the amount of recycled plastic used in its bottle production. Thanks to the high recycling rate of California residents, and with help from its strategic partner CarbonLITE, Arrowhead now ensures that 9 out of 10 of its Arrowhead bottles made in California incorporate 50% post-consumer rPET.

March 03, 2017 | PET for eggs

Egg producer Hickman’s Family Farms from Arizona, USA, introduces a clear rPET egg container. Made entirely from post-consumer PET soda and water bottles at Global Plastics in California, every day millions of water soda and bottles are ground, washed, and formed into containers for Hickman’s Family Farms. It takes about five bottles to make an 18-count egg container, and about three bottles to make a 12-count egg container. Consumers love being able to see the eggs they are buying without opening the packages, and store personnel are happy about the reduction in egg breakage and packages damaged from being handled.

Alpla,a provider of plastic packaging, has acquired a 100 per cent stake in the Romanian company Star East Pet SRL. The company, based in Brasov, specialises in the production of PET preforms for drinks, food and non-food products.

Resource Management Group (RMG), a San Diego-based materials management and recycling services provider, recently opened a new material recovery facility (MRF). Designed and installed by CP Group, the recycling system features MSS Cirus optical sorting technology and is designed for both commercial and multi-family single stream processing.

January 25, 2017 | Recycling of opaque PET

Carbios, a French green chemistry company specialising in enzymatic bioprocesses applied to plastic and textile polymers, offers a technological solution for the recycling of PET. Since recently, milk packaging as bottles made of opaque PET are widely replacing those made of high density PE (HDPE).

More than 40 industry leaders have endorsed a new action plan to tackle global plastics issues, and have begun working together to create a more effective global system for plastics. The action plan is presented in The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action, a new study by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with analytical support from SYSTEMIQ, which reveals that concerted action by industry could result in reuse and recycling of 70% of all global plastic packaging, up from today's recycling rate of just 14%.

Global sensor-based solutions provider Tomra has signed up as a member of the New Plastics Economy, a three-year initiative working towards a global plastics system guided by the principles of the circular economy.

With the development of the production technology for woven plastic sacks made from rPET, Starlinger & Co. GmbH now offers the opportunity of closed-loop production for this type of packaging. As Stéphane Soudais, Head of Starlinger’s Consumer Bags Division points out, the company can produce PET tape fabric from virgin PET and recycled PET pellets on their machines for a variety of packaging applications since several years. Now they have achieved a breakthrough in working with recycled PET: they can produce rPET tapes directly from PET bottle flakes.

Polymetrix got recently awarded with new SSP and rPET contracts in various regions. Currently bottle grade PET plant capacities are expanded throughout Africa. Polymetrix received two new orders for SSP capacity expansion projects and is currently starting-up a relocated SSP plant. By the end of 2017 more than 450,000t/a of PET will be processed with Polymetrix SSP technology on the African continent.