Review

PET to PET recycling: Maintained previous year's level despite pandemic

| Business function | PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH | Müllendorf | Germany

More than 27,300 t of PET material went through the recycling cycle last year. Despite corona-related restrictions, the processing quantities could be kept at a similar level compared to the previous year (2020: 28,200 t) and an increase in sales of 14% was achieved. Further investments are planned for 2022: PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH wants to expand its property area by approx. 19,000 m² in order to create additional storage and handling areas. In addition, the model company from Burgenland, which already operates its systems with 100% renewable energy, would like to supply it in the future partly through its own photovoltaic system.

2021 was another economically challenging year for the recycling industry. After a brief positive upswing, there was a dramatic shortage of materials on the raw material markets. Particularly in the area of ​​the PET beverage bottle cycle, the collected and sorted PET bottle bales experienced an unprecedented price development in the first half of the year. While raw material prices doubled and the high-quality recyclates made from them suddenly became more expensive, the price of new PET goods was at a very low level. The result: the two price levels drifting apart. In mid-2021, the price of food-grade recycled PET was twice as high as that of new PET.Despite difficult framework conditions and thanks to a well-functioning bottle-to-bottle cycle in Austria, PET to PET was able to keep the processing volume of 27,300 t, which corresponds to around 1.1 billion PET bottles, constant compared to the previous year (2020: 28,200 t) . “Even if the prerequisites were difficult, we were able to finish the year 2021 well,” explainsPET to PET managing director Christian Strasser and adds: "It is particularly gratifying that we were able to significantly increase sales volumes with a plus of 14% and thus reduce stock quantities built up during the pandemic."

Investment in Multigon silos and loading station

In the past year, PET to PET worked intensively on its technical infrastructure at the Müllendorf location. Two large Multigon silos with two silo chambers are now used to store and prepare the intermediate product from the washing system (washed flakes) for the subsequent food-grade processing step. Most of the high-quality recyclates are made available loose in silo vehicles for transport. A separate silo loading station was built and successfully put into operation for efficient loading.

Focus on storage capacities and green electricity in 2022

Further expansion steps are already being planned for this year. The plot area is to be expanded by approx. 19,000 m² in order to create additional storage and manipulation areas. In addition, there will be increased investments in solar energy in 2022: “Our systems are already operated with 100% renewable energy. A newly built photovoltaic system at the site is supposed to supply this in part. In addition, we are constantly busy with further optimization steps in the production plant in order to keep quality as well as material and energy efficiency at the highest level, ”explains Strasser. 

 

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