A European technology to produce PET bottles entirely from post-consumer waste has been awarded the WorldStar Packaging Award.
In a ceremony hosted by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) in Prague mid-May, Italian PET perform and bottle maker Sipa and Austrian recycling machinery supplier Eerema were recognised for their co-development of the Xtreme Renew System.
Xtreme Renew uses flakes from post-consumer scrap to produce food contact approved bottles with properties similar to those of virgin-PET bottles, according to Erema and Sipa.
The technology, which involves a single heat cycle, went into commercial operation at the end of last year in Japan.
In partnership with Japanese recycler Kyoei Industry and Suntory beverage company, the two companies installed the technology in Kasama, Japan.
The system can produce over 300 million containers per year.
It uses Erema technology to convert conventional washed bottle flakes into PET food-grade melt with an increased viscosity (IV).
The melt is directly fed to a Sipa Xtreme injection-compression preform moulding plant, unlike other moulding systems, which start from pelletised rPET.
Due to the elimination of an entire melting process, which could cause yellowing in the resin, containers produced from the preforms have a high level of aesthetics, according to Sipa.
“This is a solution that represents the perfect response to the requirements of the new circular economy,” said Gianfranco Zoppas, president of Sipa parent company Zoppas Industries.
Thanks to system integration, the technology uses 30% less electricity compared to traditional recycling processes, while cutting CO2 emissions by 25%.