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Market fails to understand recycled PET


Misconceptions by brand owners and inadequate quality control by recyclers are hampering growth in European production of food-grade recycled PET, according to APPE, the packaging division of La Seda de Barcelona.
The company is a major blow molder of PET bottles and containers and claims to be the largest food-grade PET recycler in Europe. APPE operates a dedicated recycling plant in Beaune, France, where it is investing 10 million euros to increase food-grade recycled PET output by 40 percent from 25,000 to 35,000 metric tons.
APPE says it is considering a further expansion of the facility, but this could be constrained by the lack of post-consumer PET for processing. This raw material constraint is coming at a time when brand owners are demanding increased levels of recycled PET content in food packaging as a solution to their sustainability objectives.
Frédéric Blanchard, plant director of the Beaune facility, said: “Two of the major challenges facing rPET recycling for food-contact applications are the availability and quality of bale feed-stock. European reclamation capacity is increasing through the entrance of new but inexperienced recyclers into the market, but the collection of suitable material is not rising at the same pace.”


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