After the successful completion of the pilot project, PACCOR and Veolia are preparing to implement PET recycling trays on an industrial scale.

The "PET Packaging" research team, composed of PACCOR Group, a European suppliers of sustainable plastic packaging solutions, and MultiPet, a German plastic waste recycler, have announced the successful completion of a pilot project in the recycling of PET containers. The successful attempt allows the above companies to either return post-consumer materials for material recycling or switch to disposable products for reusable packaging or eventually to close the recycling cycle packaging process of PET containers.

As part of the pilot venture, the new process was tested for the first time together with IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e. V., Industrial Association of Plastics Packaging. At the Veolia packaging and sorting plant in Nordhausen, Germany, out of the mixed fractions, PET double separation system sorted clean monochrome PET containers, i.e. plastic bottles were the first to be separated from the mixed PET trays and then the single-layered PET was sorted. Subsequent processing into flakes was carried out at MultiPet GmbH in Bernburg, Germany. The trays have undergone the same process that has been used for many years for processing PET bottles from packaging waste. PET flakes processed in this way can be re-used by PACCOR for the production of PET trays.

Sebastian Kremer, chairman of the research team, said this about evaluating the results of this project: "Recycling of PET containers was considered difficult so far due to the lack of appropriate sorting and recycling technologies. But the successful completion of our project proves that PET can be recycled and re-made into PET containers. We plan to carry further experiments with a much larger amount of input material to clarify the outstanding issues of industrial scale sorting, mechanical recycling and product use.”Veolia, in cooperation with PACCOR who specializes in plastic packaging, will continue to recycle single-layer trays and optimize its own sorting plant in Nordhausen to sort single-layer PET fractions. In this way, for the first time in Germany, the environmental service provider has opened the technical and infrastructural possibilities for sorting and recycling PET trays and supports the use of packaging materials from recycled materials to ensure a sustainable recycling economy.

The "PET Packaging" research team was set up at the end of February 2018 and has set itself the goal of accelerating the development of the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging market by providing recycling opportunities. The project’s team has involved companies whose activities are related to the PET packaging sector. These include producers of PET containers, PET blisters, PET foil, manufacturers of optical sorting equipment and companies dealing with PET recycling.