Recycling of PET trays: successful pilot project from IK

| Recycling processes | IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen | Bad Homburg | Germany

IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e. V. announces the successful completion of a pilot project for the recycling of PET trays.

As a part of this pilot project members of the IK working group rented a sorting line together with a manufacturer of optical sorting units at the end of August. From 30 tonnes of the mixed PET fraction from the dual systems (yellow sack / yellow bin) clear mono-PET trays were sorted out, which were then crushed, washed and flaked by a PET recycling plant. The flake then was used by an IK member company for the production of PET film, from which new PET trays were made.

"The recycling of PET trays has so far been difficult due to the lack of appropriate sorting and recycling technologies. The successful completion of the project shows that PET trays can be recycled back again to PET trays. Although legally there still is no food contact allowed. But we will also find a solution for this ", says the chairman of the working group, Sebastian Kremer, presenting the results of the large-scale test. Further trials with significantly more input material are planned to clarify outstanding issues of large-scale sorting, material recycling and product application.

The IK PET Tray Working Group was set up at the end of February this year and aims to drive the development of the market for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) trays by ensuring recyclability. Companies in the value chain PET packaging are involved in the working group. These include manufacturers of PET trays, PET blisters, PET top films, manufacturers of optical sorting units and PET recycling companies.

The following companies participate in the pilot project:

ES-Plastic GmbH Etimex Primary Packaging GmbH, Inde Plastik Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, LINPAC Packaging GmbH, MultiPet GmbH Paccor Deutschland GmbH, Pöppelmann GmbH & Co. KG Kunststoffwerk-Werkzeugbau, Remondis PET Recycling Seufert Gesellschaft für transparente Verpackungen mbH, silver plastics GmbH & Co. KG, Starlinger & Co. Gesellschaft m.b.H., Südpack Verpackungen GmbH + Co. KG, Texplast GmbH TOMRA Sorting GmbH, W. u. H. Fernholz GmbH & Co. KG Kunststoffverarbeitung.