Purification and Preparation of Post-Consumer PET Packaging

NEO GROUP patents an innovative plastic packaging recycling technology in the EU

The PET resin producer UAB NEO GROUP, currently operating in Klaipèda FEZ in Lithuania, has initiated European Union patenting procedures for a secondary PET packaging recycling technology it has created internally. The solution developed by the company’s scientists and technologists will allow the use of up to 30% raw materials from post-consumer recycled packaging in production process, while ensuring existing quality parameters, hence contributing to a faster development of circular economy.

Piovan April

The polyethene terephthalate (PET) resins produced by NEO GROUP are the world’s most popular raw material for food, beverage and other packaging, whose success and wide applicability is based on the transparency, safety, lightness, flexibility, attractive price, energy efficiency and good barrier properties of PET. Although PET packaging is relatively successfully collected and recycled worldwide, the use of recycled packaging for food contact materials (FCM) has so far been quite limited.

According to Ruslanas Radajevas, the General Manager of NEO GROUP, the amount of material available for mechanical recycling has increased since the deposit system was implemented in Lithuania, but this has not automatically increased the possibilities to recycle the plastic packaging which was not suitable for recycling before.

“In other words, the current mechanical recycling methods are effective, but they are not universal, and do not fully comply with the aims of EU directives or the principles of creating a circular economy. Due to these reasons, over the past few years, a team of NEO GROUP specialists has been independently developing scientific and experimental research looking for an alternative PET packaging recycling technology. We are delighted with the results achieved and have now submitted our first application for patenting our chemical recycling process in the European Union. We believe that the enhanced recycling methods and processes we have discovered will complement mechanical recycling in the future, allowing to include even higher amount of rPET in its secondary use,” R. Radajevas says.

While looking for a chemical recycling solution, the NEO GROUP research and development team worked in several directions: actively participated in the European Commission’s DEMETO project in HORIZON 2020 program, as well as independently researched the recycling of secondary packaging using different methods. The main focus of the NEO GROUP team over the last two years has been on the soft glycolysis method, which the company is currently seeking to patent.


''In other words, the current mechanical recycling methods are effective, but they are not universal, and do not fully comply with the aims of EU directives or the principles of creating a circular economy.'' - Ruslanas Radajevas


NEO GROUP is a part of the international group RETAL Industries Ltd., which operates across 10 countries and manages 17 factories. In Lithuania, RETAL Industries Ltd. also manages the PET preforms producer UAB RETAL Lithuania and the food films and cap producer UAB RETAL Baltic Films. Anatoly Martynov, a Cyprus citizen, is the president and main shareholder of the RETAL Group.

UAB NEO GROUP is one of the largest producers of polyethene terephthalate (PET) resin in Europe, located near the Klaipèda Seaport. It started its activities in Lithuania in 2004 and is still the largest greenfield investment in Lithuania. Currently, the factory produces over 450 thousand tonnes of PET granules annually, corresponding to 14% of total European production of PET resins for food and beverage packaging.

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