Envicco, a joint venture between Thai petrochemical producer PTT Global Chemical and Austrian plastics packaging manufacturer Alpla, is producing 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) in Thailand.
The use of recycled material in food contact applications had previously been banned in Thailand under the prevailing plastic waste regulations in the country. In June 2022, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) reversed its standpoint, stating that rPET can be used if obtained from a secondary recycling source that has been evaluated for safety and efficiency to show that contaminants are reduced or eliminated.
Envicco has been the first recycler in Thailand to receive ‘food-grade rPET’ certification by the national Food and Drug Administration. The rPET, labeled ‘InnoEco’, was also certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prior to its approval by Thai authorities.
"Our materials consist entirely of plastics acquired in Thailand,” said Natthanun Sirirak, managing director of Envicco. “Through cutting-edge recycling technology, we restore value to used plastics.”
The Envicco recycling facility was inaugurated in Rayong province in September 2022. With an annual production capacity of 30,000 tons of rPET and 15,000 tons of recycled HDPE (rHDPE), it ranks among the largest recycling operations of its kind in all of Asia. The mechanical recycling process reportedly meets all quality, safety, and efficiency criteria to produce food-grade PCR material.
Pepsi and mineral water brand Mineré, a subsidiary of Nestlé in Thailand, were the first beverage brands in the Thai market to adopt the post-consumer recycled (PCR) material for their plastic bottles. The products were launched in April and July, respectively, and were accompanied by high-visibility campaigns for collection and recycling. Mineré’s used rPET bottles can be deposited at specialised bins at supermarket chain 7-Eleven, and Pepsi’s bottles can be collected at bins in Siam Square, a busy shopping and entertainment area in Bangkok.
"Raising awareness about the value of recyclables is central to promoting the circular economy,” said Bernd Wachter, Alpla corporate director circular economy & recycling Asia.
“Consumer engagement increases collection rates, reduces waste, and ensures an adequate supply of materials for recycling," he concluded.