How can the beverage industry increase the supply of recycled plastic bottles for PET bottles?

How can the beverage industry increase the supply of recycled plastic bottles for PET bottles?


Austrian packaging manufacturer Alpla has decided to work with the Swiss Fromm Group to upgrade its PET plastic bottles recycling capacity.


The partners said that the goal of this cooperation is to optimize the recycling rate of PET, and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by saving transportation; this cooperation will make mutual benefit, such as more simplified for entering the market of each other's countries.


The two PET recycling plants in Wöllersdorf, Austria, and Radomosko, Poland, belong to Alpla, which produce nearly $45,000 per year of food-grade rPET from recycled materials.


Texplast, a PET recycling company based in Wolfen, Germany, is a subsidiary of Fromm Plastics, which produces PET pellets and PET chips. Fromm uses these two materials to produce strapping tapes themselves and supplies materials to manufacturers of beverage bottles, heated profiles and fibers.


Georg Lässer, head of corporate recycling services at Alpla, said that the demand for the production sites at both sides is a good complement: Alpla's main demand is clear food-grade plastic pellets, and Fromm's processing and manufacturing of strapping tapes requires colored plastic chips. The cooperation between the two recycling plants will ensure the quantity and quality of the production materials necessary for both parties.


Reinhard Fromm, owner of the Fromm Group, added that “the three recycling plants are coordinating in different procurement markets and complement each other in raw material procurement.”





Coca-Cola joins the PET innovation recycling program, achieving 100% equal recycling of all beverage packaging in 2030


The Coca-Cola Company has joined the industrial consultancy of DEMETO, the European PET chemical recycling project. The DEMETO project aims to develop an industrial-scale microwave-based chemical depolymerization process for PET.



Coca-Cola joins PET innovation recycling project


Invented by the Swiss company, this technology effectively strengthens the depolymerization (hydrolysis) of plastics and uses microwave radiation as a high-energy catalyst.


This technology reduces reaction time, simplifies the complexity of the PTA purification step, and increases productivity with a continuous process that replaces the typical batch processing at the current state of the art.


The process uses PET waste plastic as input and the resulting output includes the original build EG and PTA of this type of plastic. Unlike mechanical recycling, DEMETO technology completely recovers PET without degradation.


Participants in the project received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program.


Maria Luisa Polli, technical director of Central and Eastern Europe at Coca-Cola, said: “Consumers around the world want companies like ours to be leaders and make a world free of plastic waste possible.”


“The production of PET from recycled plastics is an important step forward. This is why we are excited to work with DEMETO and the wider industry to promote the creation of new and revolutionary technologies that support the circular economy,” she added.


At the beginning of this year, the Coca-Cola Company announced the “World Without Waste” global sustainable packaging strategy in Atlanta, USA, with the goal of achieving 100% equivalent recycling of all beverage packaging by 2030.




Specifically, Coca-Cola proposed two main indicators: First, by 2030, every time Coca-Cola uses one package, it will try to recycle a similar package. Second, by 2030, Coca-Cola Company It is planned that the average proportion of recycled materials in packaging materials can reach 50%, hoping to promote a new global benchmark for beverage packaging.


Coca-Cola said that in order to achieve this goal, it will continue to invest in its innovative packaging and protection of the global environment with its bottling partners, together with local communities, industry partners, customers and consumers while producing better beverage bottles. To jointly solve the problem of packaging disposal and marine debris.




About regenerative PET, you must understand these changes


After the prohibition of import policy on waste plastics, recycled PET has received more extensive attention and a series of changes have taken place in the market situation. Large-scale cleaning plants have increased, and the right to speak pricing in downstream has weakened. The overall supply of recycled bottles is reduced, and the gap needs to be filled. The linkage with new materials is enhanced, and the market mentality is complex and changeable.


Change one: non-rise and decline, market fluctuate frequently


During the period of 2013-2015, the average price of recycled PET market is declining year by year, and the market fluctuations are not frequent, and the stage stalemate time is relatively long. Taking 2013 as an example, the price gap between recycled PET and the price of the year was only 700 yuan/ton. After June, the market was in a long-term consolidation situation, and the price fluctuated within 100 yuan. On the contrary, during the period of 2016-2018, the average price of recycled PET market is increasing year by year, and the market fluctuations are more frequent. Especially after the ban, the market activity has increased rapidly, and the consolidation cycle is quite short, showing a situation of non-rise and decline.


There is a lack of regulation in the recycling industry. Recycled PET is mostly a small family-owned enterprise, and more than 80% is used to produce recycled chemical fiber. Therefore, all along, recycled PET is the buyer's market, and the larger downstream renewable chemical fiber pricing has a heavier voice. The resurgence of chemical fiber market during the period of 2013-2015 is the most critical factor leading to poor PET market. In recent years, as a recycling industry, recycled polyester has received more support, and a number of large-scale production enterprises such as Gezhouba Huanjia, Suzhou Qianlong, Zhejiang Huafei and Longfu Huaneng have emerged. In addition, after the import policy of waste plastics was banned, the supply pattern of recycled PET changed greatly, and the demand for supply became the main theme of the market. From the demand-driven market to the supply, demand, policy, and related products, the market trend can be controlled. The current market for recycled PET is complex and changeable, and the pricing power of downstream recycled chemical fiber is significantly weakened.


Change 2: Import volume shrinks to historical low point


PET waste scrap imports have shrunk to a low point, while other primary forms of polyethylene terephthalate imports have increased significantly year-on-year. From January to March 2018, the cumulative import of PET waste scraps was 3,335.44 tons, a year-on-year decrease of 99.53%. In 2018, industrial waste plastics are banned from import at the end of the year. The latest 11th batch of restricted import declarations does not contain PET waste and scrap. This year, PET waste and scrap imports will be very limited, and imports will be completely banned in 2019. Subsequent regeneration of PET imports for regenerate particles only.


   Other primary shapes of polyethylene terephthalate comprise virgin polyester chips and recycled polyester granules. From January to March 2018, imports of other primary forms of polyethylene terephthalate imported a total of 75,100 tons, an increase of 75.14%. After high temperature treatment, the viscosity of the recycled particles is generally low, mostly about 0.5, and the impurities cannot be cleaned again, and the color is yellow. Recycled fiber and two-dimensional hollow manufacturers only choose particle-assisted production, while high-end reclaimed filaments and recycled hollow manufacturers are almost useless. However, due to the obvious domestic supply gap, a large number of waste bottles in foreign countries need to be treated, and the industrial transfer of domestic recycling enterprises has promoted the rapid development of the recycled pellet market.


On the whole, the import of waste and scrap is few, the particles are limited by the quality and the scope of application is also difficult to blow out. In 2018, the import of recycled PET will drop to an all-time low.


Change 3: The correlation between new and old materials has increased significantly


Since 2014, the correlation coefficient between recycled PET and new polyester chips has increased year by year. In 2018, the correlation coefficient between the two reached a high of 0.84. In fact, after the international oil price plummeted in 2014, the textile industry's prosperity was low, and the downstream demand for new and old materials was not much, and the correlation coefficient between recycled products and virgin polyester declined. Recycled chemical fiber with a significant excess capacity is more vulnerable. The market is showing that it is difficult to keep up with the price increase of the original price, while the price of recycled products of the original product is likely to fall. In this context, the downstream-oriented recycled PET has a lower correlation with the new polyester chips. After the ban on 2017, the price of recycled products continued to rise, approaching the original polyester products, and the market linkage was gradually improved. In particular, the current price difference between recycled bottle flakes and polyester chips is kept at a low level of 200-300 yuan/ton. The downstream recycled chemical fiber market is in short supply, and some manufacturers purchase new material polyester chips. Due to the change in the purchasing tendency of chemical fiber plants, the impact of the rise and fall of new polyester chips on recycled bottle flakes has been increasing, and the correlation between the two has risen to a high level.


Based on the major changes in the recycled PET market, we look at the industry's follow-up focus. First of all, the competition of raw materials is also the focus of domestic bottle recycling. At the beginning of the year, Longfuhuan can become a demonstration base for the construction of renewable resources recycling system in Shandong, which indicates that the establishment of waste plastic recycling system will be accelerated, and the renewable resource industry will gradually develop towards agglomeration and specialization. Second, the recycling of waste polyester textiles. As an important part of filling the shortage of recycled bottle flakes, the amount of waste textiles is huge. Once the recycling system and technological level have made substantial progress, its development space is broad. Once again, the capacity of the recycled polyester industry has shifted and changed. Domestic recycled PET is in short supply, although it faces certain challenges. Some downstream reclaimed chemical fiber manufacturers still choose to go out and turn to Southeast Asia with low cost and abundant raw materials. The subsequent development of such chemical fiber plants and the quantity of imported chemical fiber deserve continuous attention.