Food and beverages major Unilever along with chemicals company Ioniqa and resin producer Indorama Ventures (IVL) are coming together to develop a solution for PET recycling that is completely circular in nature.
The solution aims to develop a food packaging system that converts PET waste into virgin grade PET material. The solution breaks down non-recycled PET waste such as colored PET bottles into base molecule level by separating the color and other contaminants. The result is a PET material that is comparable to virgin grade PET.
Braskem, Americas’ largest producer of thermoplastic resins, estimates that global demand for monoethylene glycol (MEG) – a key ingredient in PET production – will be between 25 to 30 million tonnes per year, with 85% going into PET production.
Meanwhile as companies are more keen on sustainable solutions, some buyers are looking at biobased or green plastics to achieve carbon emission targets. As such the demand for green plastics is expected to manifold in the coming years.
The demand for craft beers has grown considerably across the world including Japan. Japan’s leading brands Asahi and Kirin are becoming increasingly influential in the global beer market too.
Breweries worldwide are increasingly preferring single-use PET kegs as they are not only economical and an efficient alternative to traditional steel kegs and glass bottles, but they are also recyclable, cutting down on logistics costs and washing processes. In addition the kegs provide excellent product protection.
Europe’s PET bottles and containers collection and recycling has increased significantly in recent years. Countries that fared well in PET bottle collection and recycling in Europe are – France, Germany and Italy that together represent 47.9 percent of the total volume collected in the region. Spain and UK are also making significant progress and in 2016 the five countries’ combined total share of collection stood at 70.9 percent.