Returnable-PET-Bottle – Flame-Retardants 07-05-2022

Returnable-PET-Bottle – Flame-Retardants

-Is a ‘priority access’ policy needed to close the loop on beverage packaging in Europe?

The European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN), Natural Mineral Waters Europe (NMWE), UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, along with two NGOs, have renewed calls for the EU to implement a policy framework that would give the “right of first refusal” on food-grade recycled materials to beverage producers. In a new position paper, the organisations say that such a mandate, along with collection and a harmonised definition of high-quality recycling, is necessary to ensure the industry can meet its circularity commitments.

Beverage industry demand for rPET

Based on a recent report produced by Eunomia for Zero Waste Europe, beverage bottles account for 47% of overall PET demand in the EU. The report currently estimates a 50% recycling rate for both beverage and non-beverage PET bottles, determined by measuring the weight of PET post-washing and flaking against the weight of PET bottles placed on the market, which includes caps, lids, and labels.

In addition, the report suggests that, at present, PET bottles are made up of 17% recycled content. This recycled content represents 31% of the total PET flakes derived from bottles annually, with the report noting that the rest is used in other applications like textiles – and “considered a loss from the circular bottle stream”.

The supply situation for rPET seems to be tightening across applications. Earlier this year, ICIS reported “record high” prices for rPET, alongside additional challenges such as increasing contamination of bales. For the beverage industry, this could mean contending with both premium prices and reduced availability of food-grade recyclates due to declining quality.  Returnable-PET-Bottle – Flame-Retardants

In December 2021, AIJN, NMWE, and UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe released a statement claiming that while the beverage industry helps to fund the collection and recycling of PET bottles, it does not receive enough of the recycled materials derived from these processes to facilitate bottle-to-bottle recycling, in part due to the downcycling of bottles into applications like clothing and toys that can end up in landfill after use.

At the time, the organisations proposed the solution of a first refusal mechanism in the revised EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) to ensure the beverage industry’s access to food-grade recycled PET. This is ostensibly essential to meeting targets such as the 30% recycled content by 2030 mandate for beverage bottles set out in the Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD).

Returnable-PET-Bottle - Flame-Retardants

-ALPLA, Vöslauer Develop Returnable PET Bottle for Mineral Water

Bottle’s sustainability benefits include 30% fewer carbon emissions and a nearly 90% weight reduction versus glass.

Two family-run companies, Austria-based ALPLA Group and Vöslauer Mineralwasser, have launched a returnable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle. The 1-L bottle, a first in Austria, is now on store shelves.

ALPLA, a global plastic packaging producer and recycler, worked with Vöslauer, Austria’s market-leading mineral water brand, to develop the returnable PET bottle, which reportedly reduces carbon emissions by about 30%.

With a weight of 55 grams/2 ounce, the returnable PET bottle is nearly 90% lighter than returnable glass bottles. The light weight provides carbon-footprint reduction benefits in production, shipment, and container storage.

Bearing the Austrian Ecolabel, the bottle is made of fully recyclable PET monomaterial with about 30% recycled content.  Returnable-PET-Bottle – Flame-Retardants

“People want to consume sustainably. Although returnable PET is the optimum packaging solution, there wasn’t a single product of this kind in the Austrian market until now,” said Rainer Widmar, ALPLA managing director, Central and Eastern Europe, in a prepared statement. “The returnable PET bottle developed together with Vöslauer illustrates how demand, a sense of responsibility, a hunger for innovation, and technological expertise can reduce the carbon footprint.”

The returnable PET bottle enables Vöslauer to save about 400 tonnes/441 tons of material and 420 tonnes/463 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The new bottle replaces a 1-L PET bottle with a deposit.

Withstanding at least 12 use cycles, the bottles are expected to remain in use for three to four years.

The bottle was unveiled April 20 in the presence of Austria’s Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler and Alexander Egit, Managing Director of Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe.

According to Vöslauer Managing Directors Birgit Aichinger and Herbert Schlossnikl, “The majority of Austrians want to see returnable containers on supermarket shelves. PET is the environmentally sensible addition to our product range. As the market leader in the deposit segment, we are the first company in Austria to create a light and practical alternative.”

ALPLA, Vöslauer Develop Returnable PET Bottle for Mineral Water

-Is a ‘priority access’ policy needed to close-the-loop on beverage-packaging-in-Europe?

ALPLA, Vöslauer Develop Returnable-PET-Bottle for Mineral-Water

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Returnable-PET-Bottle – Flame-Retardants

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