Pet recycling, how does it work?

Pet stands for Poly Ethylene Terephthalate and is a polyester. Pet is a plastic that is easy to shape when heated. Pet is completely recyclable, but in order to preserve properties, extra processing is necessary in many cases. Pet is very strong, chemically stable, a good electrical insulator and does not let gas and odors pass through.

Pet bottles are collected throughout Europe. In some municipalities there are special bins for the collection of PET bottles that do not have a deposit. Pet bottles are also part of the plastic flow that is currently being collected in many European countries in a closed loop system. The PET bottles are taken from collection centers to a recycling plant. Because loosely deposited PET bottles weigh little, the PET bottles are pressed into bales. A special bottle picker or hole punch makes holes in the bottles before they enter the baler. Pet bottles that are still closed can hardly be pressed into a bale. The bales of Pet bottles ultimately weigh more than 350 kilograms each.

In the recycle factory, things that do not belong to the PET bottles are first separated, such as soda cans and other types of plastic. After this, the Pet bottles are ground by granulators into small pieces, the so-called "flakes". With the help of a floating-zinc separation technique (also called flotation separation), polyethylene (Pe) plastic is separated from Pet plastic. The caps of the Pet bottles are often made of Pe. De Pe is also sold as a recycled product. The Pet flakes are then washed and dried. With computer-controlled photo and video techniques, the flakes are sorted by color if necessary. The sorted flakes are processed into granules in extruders. To increase the tensile strength of the Pet, the Pet is treated with a high temperature under a high vacuum. This treatment increases the intrinsic viscosity, which gives an indication of the length of the molecular chains of Pet and thereby gives an indication of the tensile strength.

We receive the recycled flakes ore granulates as a raw material and then turn it into new Pet packaging.

100% new Pet bottles from 100% old Pet bottles!

 

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