Equipolymers GmbH (EQP), a German manufacturer of PET resins, has unveiled a new food-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) using up to 25% of chemically recycled PET bottles as feedstock.
The material, named Viridis 25, was launched in a ceremony in Vienna on 9 Oct, concurrent with the annual meeting of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA).
The new clear PET product, according to EQP, has the highest recycled ratio ever achieved so far and can absorb more than 3% of the total recycled PET available in Europe.
Established in 2003, Equipolymers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuwait-based petrochemicals company Equate Petrochemical Co. (EQUATE).
The Viridis 25 project roots go back to 2009, when EQP launched Viridis 10, a PET grade containing up to 10% recycled PET.
“The Viridis 25 project enabled us to create a product with far-reaching environmental, social and business benefits,” said Ramesh Ramachandran, president & CEO of Equate, at the launch ceremony.
“We are transforming the way plastic products are designed, produced and recycled,” he added.
The manufacturing of Viridis 25 is based on a chemical recycling process of PET polymers coming from post-consumer flakes. According to EQP, the technology involves an environmentally sustainable process to produce the resin.
EQP is currently modifying its existing 350ktpa production plant in Schkopau, Germany, to produce Viridis 25 and expects to start commercial production by October next year. Once fully operational, the plant can consume up to 30 kilotonnes of post-consumer PET waste to produce Viridis 25.
EQP has also highlighted the strong role Coca-Cola played in the development of the material as a supporter of the project.
According to Ramachandran, Coca-Cola's support was particularly helpful “in the boardroom” when further investment decisions were being made to move from Viridis 10 to Viridis 25.
“In response to the European Plastics Strategy, Viridis 25 contributes to Coca-Cola's global strategy of a ‘world without waste' by increasing the amount of recycled material in its PET bottles,” said Bruce Eliott, CEPG managing director of plastics packaging at Coca-Cola, who also spoke at the launch event in Vienna.