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PET Recycling Is Just In Time


The European plastic industry is affected by the uncertain state of the overall economy in the region. Although the market has turned its attention to Asia, Europe remains a leader in plastics technology. Besides, with long established collection systems in various European countries, the region serves as a role model on how to effectively collect and recycle plastics. As the call for sustainable development and eco-friendly production is louder than ever before, the recycling industry is a potential stimulus to the European plastics industry.


Whereas the plastics industry in the 1960s through to the 1980s gave little thought to sensible ways of disposing of or recovering waste plastics, the issue had shifted into the spotlight by 1991 at the latest when the German Packaging Ordinance came into effect.


Recycling rates keep increasing in Europe. Experts are also critical of the classification of waste to energy incineration as a sensible form of recovery for plastics. In Germany, 95% of all waste incinerators are classed as recovery plants and are thus licensed to generate energy. It is undisputed that energy recovery makes less ecological sense than materials recycling.


While the need of recycling is bursting, large variety of PET recycling technologies is available now. PET bottles are also amenable to singe grade sorted waste collection and processing. The products made from them rang from fibers and films to new bottles. A large variety of suppliers have developed special recycling lines for PET. A Germany company has launched the MRS extruder, for which an US Food and Drug Administration approval has been obtained.


In addition, machine manufacturers are contributing various drying systems like the infrared rotating drum, special filtrations systems for the processing of PET and also crystallization processes. In short, PET recycling achieving a market volume of one million tons per year in Europe.



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