Suntory Holdings Limited has developed “FtoP Direct Recycle Technology” for use in soft drink PET bottle preform production. This is part of a joint effort with PET processing technology specialist SIPA SpA in Italy, EREMA Group GmbH, the Austrian equipment company that has developed numerous plastics recycling systems, and Japanese recycling company Kyoei Industry Co., Ltd.
Preforms using this technology will be manufactured at Kyoei Industry and gradually introduced for part of Suntory Beverage & Food Limited's PET bottle products, beginning in the summer.
“With the aim of achieving further reductions in the environmental burden, the two companies entered into a successful joint initiative with SIPA and EREMA to develop the ‘FtoP Direct Recycle Technology,’” Suntory says. FtoP Direct Recycle Technology – FtoP stands for “Flakes to Preforms” – is based on XTREME RENEW, the system unveiled by SIPA and EREMA in Europe late last year.
The technology integrates EREMA’s Vacurema PET bottle recycling process directly with SIPA’s ground-breaking XTREME injection-compression molding system for highly energy-efficient production of lightweight preforms.
Suntory says that in FtoP Direct Recycle Technology, flake created by pulverizing and washing recovered PET bottles is treated at high temperature and low pressure for a fixed period. Directly after being melted and filtered, the material is processed into preforms. “In order to form preforms of uniform quality, it is important to pour the melted flake into the molding machine at a constant pressure,” says the company. “The development of this technology involved putting up actual facilities and verification over a protracted period of time.
“In comparison to the previous set-up, which required a large number of processes leading up to the manufacture of the preform, such as crystallization and drying, it is estimated that reductions in CO2 emissions of approximately 25% will be possible.”
Suntory Holdings Limited and Kyoei Industry Co., Ltd have a track record in promoting activities to reduce the environmental impact of PET bottle manufacturing. In 2011, for example, they developed Japan’s first bottle-to-bottle mechanical recycling system.
About Kyoei Industry Co., Ltd
(Head office: Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture) Recycled materials manufacturer, involved in the recycling, processing and sale of synthetic resins. It has been involved in the recycling of PET bottles since 1986, and the corporate group at which it is the center manufactures a total of 80,000 tons of recycled PET resin annually.
About SIPA SpA
(Head office: Italy) Manufacturer of beverage filling equipment such as preform bottle molding machinery and fillers. In 2013 the company developed “XTREME” rotary injection-compression molding system and introduced the first machine of the series at Suntory Products Limited’s Haruna Plant.
(Head office: Austria) Manufacturer of equipment such as plastic recycling machinery etc. Developed “VACUREMA” dedicated PET bottle recycling system in 1996. It has shipped more than 200 units globally since launch, and the system is also used by Kyoei Industry Co., Ltd.
About Suntory Group’s environmental activities
With the aim of fulfilling the Suntory Group's corporate philosophy of “In Harmony with People and Nature,” in addition to promoting global environmental management, we are involved with a variety of activities to reduce the environmental impact, so as to leave a sustainable global environment to future generations. In the container and packaging field, based on the Suntory Group's unique “2R+B” strategy*, it has worked continuously to develop PET bottles with a reduced environmental impact, such as by introducing the lightest domestically manufactured PET bottle, 30% of which consists of plant-based materials, for use in the 550mL size of Suntory Tennensui, and by constructing a trial plant for PET bottles made from 100% plant-based materials.
*An approach to PET bottle development that combines the reduced use of resin and the utilization of recycled materials to achieve thoroughly effective use of resources, along with the substitution of petroleum-based materials for renewable materials where possible (Reduce/Recycle + Bio). By “Reduce” Suntory means not only the reduction of the number of actual bottles, but also the promotion of a thoroughgoing weight reduction program that includes labels and caps. The company is also working actively to reduce environmental impact such as by, in the “Recycle” category, building Japan's first bottle-to-bottle mechanical recycling system and, in the “Bio” category, introducing products using PET bottles in which plant-based materials make up 30% of the total.