PET is 100 percent recyclable. At the end of the recycling process a PET regranulate is produced, also known as recyclate, which can be used again for the production of new PET preforms and bottles. This process can be reproduced an indefinite number of times which means that a used PET bottle can be turned into a new one again and again.
We have been using recycled material for our PET packagings since the beginning of the 2000s. We want to meet our ambitious environmental objectives by continuously optimising our processes. Our standards go far beyond the legal requirements. We produce preforms and PET bottles from up to 100 per cent recycled material and as we attach great importance on the quality and purity of the PET we use for our products, we have started the recycling of PET in autumn this year and produce high-purity PET regranulate out of washed PET Flakes on our own using most modern recycling technolgy. In our recyling plant in Großbreitenbach, we can process around 700 million PET bottles into high-quality regranulate per year.
Our PET recycling process
Each of us has already put an empty PET bottle into the reverse vending machine at the supermarket around the corner. And that's a good thing. In Germany, we achieve a return rate of 98 per cent in this way and we are envied for this worldwide. But what happens after the reverse vending machine? How exactly does bottle-to-bottle recycling work? And what role does PET-Verpackungen GmbH Deutschland play in this? Have a look and find the answers here.
Sorting and cleaning: The one-way PET bottles pressed into bales are ground, cleaned and sorted. The "PET flakes" thus obtained are the starting material for our recycling process.
Multi-stage sorting: The delivered PET flakes first go through a multi-stage sorting process in which possible parts of metals, foreign colours and foreign polymers are removed.
Plastification and granulation: The sorted flakes are melted in an extruder at temperatures of approx. 290°C under vacuum and granulated in a water stream.
Solid phase condensation: the material is deeply cleaned in a reactor. At the same time the viscosity is brought to the required value. The granulate remains in the SSP reactor for around 16 hours. What sounds simple is a complex chemical process which removes the last impurities and makes the granulate suitable for use in food.
Quality inspection and storage: After all the necessary quality parameters of the regranulate have been approved, it is transported to the storage silos to be reused in the production of new preforms and PET containers.
Everything from a single source