AMB Spa, a supplier of rigid and flexible packaging films headquartered in San Daniele del Friuli in northern Italy, has launched an initiative that will see the production of new packaging trays from recycled post-consumer trays. The project, called Tray Revive, draws on AMB’s long experience with PET bottle-to-bottle recycling. The increasing demand for recycled PET from the bottle industry, expected to grow in volume to up to 0.5 million tonnes of rPET, is a success story with a flip side. With so much rPET going to the bottle industry, AMB foresaw that a shortage of rPET suitable for use in the production of trays would be inevitable.
Together with an Italian recycler, AMB has now launched a programme under which post-consumer trays are collected and recycled for use in new packaging trays. Fully 95% of the raw material is derived from the food tray stream. The waste is analysed, processed to avoid contamination and ground into flakes which are subject to strict evaluation procedures. AMB assesses the material for its impact on the extrusion process and its mechanical performance. Additionally, the new film is subject to controls that evaluate its optical aspect and quality as well as its impact on the thermoforming process.
This resulting films exhibit both a mechanical performance and thermoforming performance on FFS that is unchanged from virgin material, and the gauge remains the same as for standard PET/PE or Mono PET.
The Tray Revive initiative is part of a wider strategy that includes boosting the collaboration between all of AMB stakeholders and is targeted at improving and developing the solutions and infrastructure needed to create more sustainable and recycling packaging.
The initiative serves to reduce the environmental impact of AMB’s products and also contributes to the realisation of the EU’s goal of using 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics by 2025.