Recycled PET shows promise for punnets - The Packer

Recycled PET shows promise for punnets

03/16/2009 12:00:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

(March 17, 11:10 a.m.) Phoenix Technologies Inc. hopes to have its food grade polyethylene terephthalate line, LNOc, made of recycled materials, ready to go by this summer.

The recycled PET was developed because of an increased demand of post-consumer, food grade materials, said Lori Carson, sales and marketing manager for the Bowling Green, Ohio-based company.

Prior attempts at recycled PET for food-grade use have been problematic because of taste and color issues. Thankfully, Carson said, those have been resolved.

“The process for forming the product is different,” she said. “The product is not melt-formed. A pellet is formed from compaction of a very fine powder that improves some of the characteristics of the resin.”

Phoenix Technologies plans to start the first line of the recycled PET at its Ohio facility in April, but sees opportunities for expanding the technology on a more regional basis.

“We see the growth of the business in going to smaller, regional plants,” she said.

Phoenix Technologies plans to make the technology available — via a license, partnership or turnkey system installation — to others wishing to establish their own regional operations.

Because the recycled PET is made from post-consumer recycled materials, it makes sense to locate a facility for creating the material closer to recycling collections, Carson said.

A medium-sized city would have enough to supply a small plant, which would reduce the number of miles on the road materials are transported to and from end markets.

The smaller scale also makes it more cost effective than traditional PET when made in smaller batches, Carson said.

Trials have been successful with up to 100% recycled PET, but Phoenix Technologies expects most packaging to be made with a 25% to 50% blend with virgin PET.



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