Ferrarelle SpA is a 100% Italian-owned company and bears the name of the historical mineral water brand proudly brought back to Italy in 2005. Its 400 employees work in the company's fi ve strategic locations: Milan, home of the commercial offi ces; Riardo (Caserta), the administrative and operative headquarter and home of Ferrarelle, Santagata and Natía springs; Darfo Boario Terme (Brescia), the home of Boario, Vitasnella and Fonte Essenziale springs; Presenzano (Caserta), home of the new PET recycling plant; Pontedera (Pisa), headquarter of Amedei, the chocolate company part of Ferrarelle Group since August 2017. Ferrarelle SpA is the fourth largest company in the Italian mineral water market.
Pioneering Preform and Water Bottle Production
The implementation of our bottle-to-bottle project is a groundbreaking step towards the circular economy in preform and bottle production with a strong focus on respecting natural resource, one of Ferrarelle Group’s main priorities.”
Located 60 kilometres north of Naples, the history of Ferrarelle mineral water dates back to 1893, when owner Giuseppe De Ponte started canalizing the water for commercial exploitation. During a journey lasting 30 years through the extinct Roccamonfi na volcano rocks and Monte Maggiore carbonate rocks, the rainwater is purified and enriched with several minerals and carbon dioxide that give Ferrarelle water its unique, soft and sweet taste. Even a natural effervescence certification, bestowed by the independent and verified company SGS, assures the natural and the authentic characteristics of this South Italian spring water. Ferrarelle bubbles are originating 100% naturally and the amount of CO2 contained in each bottle is exactly the same contained in the water flowing from the spring, therefore Ferrarelle is the Italian sparkling mineral water par excellence.
As the company recycles more than 90% of the materials discarded from the manufacturing process in its two plants and has installed new bottling lines in order to improve the efficiency of its production processes, Ferrarelle decided to pioneer a new way of water bottle production in contribution to ecosustainability, carbon footprint reduction, and natural resources protection. The use of PCR flakes directly for preform production is a radical approach to eliminate the commonly used pelletizing step on bottle to bottle recycling. With an investment of about 30 million euros and the installation of Starlinger viscotec’s viscoSTAR 180, the Italian company is ready to produce recycled PET preforms directly from PCR flakes. “This is a groundbreaking step towards the circular economy in preform and bottle production with a strong focus on respecting natural resources, one of Ferrarelle Group’s main priorities.” says Alessandro Frondella, Ferrarelle SpA General Manager. “In our new plant in Presenzano we are going to produce preforms, the embryonic stage of bottles, using 50% of rPET in the near future, and we could also employ non-food grade rPET flakes to seize new business opportunities within sustainable developments”.
The process conditions in the reactor enable the polycondensation to take place. In the reactor vessel, the PCR flakes stay for the adjusted time to reach the dedicated iV. The iV increased and 100% food grade material is discharged from the reactor. Cooling takes place by means of dry air. After cooling of the material to a certain temperature level, a valve diverts the PCR flakes directly to a downstream process or, after further cooling in the cooling vessel, to an intermediate storage silo. viscoSTAR’s can be placed stand alone, after a pelletizing extruder or in front of a production extruders like at Ferrarelle and is available in various sizes. The main distinctive feature between those viscoSTARS is different output levels, which differs from 800 up to 2,000kg PET per hour depending on reactor size. What they all have in common is the EFSA and FDA approval for food grade standards. viscotec’s decontamination technology exceeds existing standards and regulations and guarantees 100% recycled PET for the direct contact with food.
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