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Demand remains high for R-PET sheet systems

As reported recently by Napcor, the National Association for PET Container Resources, the recycling rate for polyethyelene terephthalate (PET) in the U.S. hit 27% last year, the highest recycling rate for PET there more than a decade. In Europe the rates are higher, with Petcore reporting that European post-sorting PET collection reached 1.26 million tonnes in 2008, an increase of more than 11% on 2007. The overall European collection rate in 2008 rose by nearly 5%, to 46% of all PET bottles on the market.

As reported recently by Napcor, the National Association for PET Container Resources, the recycling rate for polyethyelene terephthalate (PET) in the U.S. hit 27% last year, the highest recycling rate for PET there more than a decade. In Europe the rates are higher, with Petcore reporting that European post-sorting PET collection reached 1.26 million tonnes in 2008, an increase of more than 11% on 2007. The overall European collection rate in 2008 rose by nearly 5%, to 46% of all PET bottles on the market. (See our report here for more on recycling rates in the U.S. in 2008.)
 



Erema teams with SML for these direct
recyclate-to-sheet PET lines.
Recycling rates for PET have risen elsewhere too. One result is that more food suppliers are willing to specify the material for their products’ packaging. For machinery supplier Erema, that means good business. Market acceptance for the Vacurema inline systems for direct extrusion from PET post-consumer bottle flake to flat PET sheet—approved for direct food contact—remains strong, reports Erema (Ansfelden, Austria), the supplier of these systems.
 
Global Vacurema system capacity installed for this purpose has grown from 65,000 tonnes per year at the end of 2005 to 158,000 tonnes annually at the end of 2008. In Europe the production capacity trebled in the same period, rising from 20,000 tonnes (end of 2005) to 60,000 tonnes per year at the end of 2008.

The Basic version of these systems includes a vacuum reactor and is used primarily for the production of flat film. The recycling plant can be combined with standard flat film downstream equipment to make a complete single-stage PET sheet production line. Erema offers complete turnkey systems for this purpose with downstream equipment from cast sheet extruder manufacturer SML.

This inline concept can process PET sheet ranging from 150 μm-1.8 mm in thickness. The flat film system requires only one operator. If required, ancillary extruders can also be added to make up to a three-layer flat film plant.

FDA approval for sheet extruded with the system is documented, and the system also meets Europe’s (EC) No. 282/2008 regulation of March 2008, which states recycled plastic can be used for food packaging only if it has been produced using an authorised recycling process (and thus could limit the use of center-layer scrap not properly recycled). [email protected]
TAGS: Materials
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