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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.

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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.

November 21, 2016 | Cool drink bottle is no trash

Mpact Recycling has called upon consumers to take greater care when disposing of their refuse. “We urge consumers to separate recyclable plastic bottles and other recyclable items at home instead of relying on recyclers to do so at landfill. By that time the plastic is often too contaminated with items like soil to be recycled,” says Ronald Fairbanks, General Manager at Mpact Polymers.

Avery Dennison has collaborated with partners throughout the supply chain namely Viridor and PET UK, to help Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) reduce waste, costs, and the carbon footprint of Smartwater production in the United Kingdom.

Cooperation between NGR and Kuhne is raising the level of quality for direct production of food-grade PET sheets made of skeleton scrap, sheet production scrap or PET bottle flakes. The integrated system consists of a shredder-feeder-extruder combination for producing plastic melt, the P:React unit for improving the quality of PET and the sheet system from Kuhne for producing PET sheets with tightest tolerances. Both PET sheet producers and thermoformed part manufacturers will benefit from the result.

The machine and plant manufacturer from Meckesheim/Germany Herbold will present their five pillars for an efficient and cost-effective recycling of plastic waste. In the first pillar, the company identifies solutions for pre-size-reduction if the feeding material is too bulky for the usual procedure or if the material is in a first step only to be coarsely shredded for a subsequent sorting, classification or inspection.

At the K 2016 show Erema will be building on the success of the Intarema technology presented in 2013, this time with its trade fair theme of “Careformance – We care about your performance” to grow its pioneering role this year with Industry 4.0 applications.

The non-profit environmental association Ecoce is promoting the collection and recycling of post-consumer PET and other materials in Mexico. The association has now published new figures on recycling in Mexico: according to their own figures, Mexico has recorded the highest collection quota in America for PET for the past four years.

The soft-drinks producer Mitteldeutsche Erfrischungsgetränke GmbH & Co. KG (MEG) is part of the Schwarz Group that also owns the Lidl and Kaufland supermarket chains. The company is Germany’s second-largest beverage producer, with domestic sales of more than 25 million hectolitres, and also exports its wares throughout Europe.