Artenius PET Packaging Europe (APPE) is to offer a range of preforms and containers with increased levels of post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) following the signing of an exclusive agreement with plastics recycling specialist AWS Eco Plastics.
Under the agreement, AWS will become sole supplier of rPET pellets to APPE, delivering around 13,000 tonnes annually to the APPE plant in Gresford. APPE is investing in excess of £250,000 in a new mixing facility at the site, where the pellets are combined with virgin material. The mixing takes place offline before being introduced into APPE’s injection moulding machines, enabling the company to produce containers with a recycled content that can be varied according to the needs of individual customers.
APPE already supplies a limited amount of 75% virgin, 25% rPET blend and the intention with the new mixing kit is to introduce a standard resin to this specification. However the recycled content can be as high as 70 – 80% if required. The company can already supply 100% rPET bottles via its existing dedicated PET recycling plant in Beaune, France but this is the first time that APPE has been able to offer such an extensive use of rPET in its preforms and containers manufactured in the UK.
The rPET is being supplied in pellet form, which ensures a high quality performance during the manufacturing process. All material is food-grade approved and there is no difference in the overall performance of the finished container, whatever the level of recycled content. APPE says that a 25% rPET container can offer almost identical levels of clarity and gloss to a 100% virgin material version; however, the potential for discolouration may become greater as the recycled content increases. The ability to vary the rPET content therefore means that customers can assess their priorities and requirements on an individual basis, depending on the product or application.
The new material will be available for all the markets that APPE serves. In addition to its leading position in soft drinks and mineral waters, the company is also developing a range of solutions in a variety of new sectors including food, wines and spirits, household products, personal care and pharmaceuticals.
“This is a major development which enables us to offer our customers a significant benefit in these environmentally-conscious times,” comments George Hendry, Sales Director of APPE.
“Our rPET preforms and containers deliver all the proven advantages of PET as a packaging material, while meeting the demands of government, retailers and consumers to further reduce the environmental impact of packaging.”
George Hendry added that APPE has the ability to further increase production of its rPET preforms and containers, depending on demand.