Returnable PET-bottles – Economic recovery in Europe? Maybe next year 20-10-2023

Returnable PET-bottles

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Renault aggravates the car crisis Yesterday was a tough day on the stock market for Stellantis (-3.65%) and especially Renault (-7.15%)

And while the group led by Luca De Meo, which yesterday presented third-quarter results below expectations, suffered from currency depreciation, doubts about the listing of Ampere (electric vehicles and software), already postponed once and expected by June 2024, would have weighed on the group; for Stellantis, according to an analyst, the reason is “the stock market’s disaffection with the sector due to recession signals”.

But also worrying is the extension of the strike called in mid-September by the Uaw union that has stopped production of Gm and Ford in the United States.

Also to be taken into account are the recent statements by Tesla’s number one, Elon Musk, who gave news that was not entirely reassuring about the prospects of the car company. For the first time, the company missed both earnings and revenues since the second quarter of 2019. Returnable PET-bottles

A consequence of the sharp cut applied to prices. The tycoon is also worried about the general state of the economy.

Fears, those expressed by Musk, that affect the entire sector, which is also struggling with a complex and expensive energy transition.

The spotlight of manufacturers is in fact on high interest rates that make it even more difficult for consumers to buy cars, especially if they were to rise further.

Stellantis, for its part, due to the continuous higher costs caused by Uaw strikes in the United States, has decided to cancel the exhibitions and presentations scheduled at Ces 2024, the largest technology fair in the world, scheduled for January 2024 in Las Vegas.

A painful choice, given the importance of the showcase. “In light of the current state of negotiations in the United States, preserving business fundamentals and, therefore, protecting the future of the company is a top priority for Stellantis’ leadership team.

Being second to none in creating value for stakeholders, customers, employees and investors is a key component of the Dare Forward plan by 2030,” explains a note from the group. Returnable PET-bottles

In this regard, Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, on the damage that the agitation is causing, issued a warning: “At stake is the future of the American auto industry”.

Stellantis, finally, has defined an agreement with Dongfeng for the sale of three plants based in China and currently owned by joint ventures Dongfeng Peugeot Citroën Automobile.

Dongfeng will continue to manage sales of Peugeot and Citroën brands under the Great Wall.  Returnable PET-bottles

Renault aggravates the car crisis Yesterday was a tough day on the stock market for Stellantis (-3.65%) and especially Renault (-7.15%)

Best-in-class weight achieved by new returnable, resistant PET bottle launched by Sidel for carbonated beverages

With upcoming European regulations requiring beverage producers to embrace packaging circularity and returnable bottles, Sidel has developed a dedicated PET bottle for carbonated beverages designed for long-standing reuse.

In accordance with the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, the focus is on creating a circular economy where returnable bottles are at the forefront. With a target of 25 percent of bottles to be reusable by 2040, there is now increasing demand for returnable packaging and refillable production lines over a food grade bottle-to-bottle process.

For packaging manufacturers looking to introduce returnable bottles, PET is the material of choice. Using PET helps to reach lighter bottle weights and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

To meet the needs of the returnable carbonated beverages bottle market, Sidel experts have designed a PET bottle with a best-in-class weight and a high level of resistance which can withstand numerous washing cycles.  Returnable PET-bottles

Robust bottle endurance

The returnable packaging design has been developed for sustained endurance and consumers can return the same bottle into a deposit scheme to be reused multiple times. This bottle is qualified to withstand up to 25 refillable loops.

Combined with a dedicated blowing process, the preform and structural design enable the bottle to endure high washing temperatures. The bottle also includes a reinforced neck to guarantee top bottle quality in neck-held washing and refill cycles. 

Lightweight and fully recyclable

With the packaging industry aiming to reduce its material usage, this structural design is available in various bottle formats, such as 1L, 1.5L and 2L and provides significant opportunity for lightweighting. For example, the 1.5L bottle weighs just 77g and offers ultra-high performance with 28 percent weight saving compared to the market average.

Even when this new returnable bottle reaches the end of its useful life, it can be recycled into a new bottle, continuing the circularity of PET.  Returnable PET-bottles

Proven expertise in PET packaging, blowing and complete lines

With more than forty years of leadership in blow-moulding equipment for PET bottles, Sidel offers dedicated solutions to support beverage producers’ switch to returnable bottles.

For example, Its EvoBLOW eHR range is a standout solution from Sidel and enables the highest preform reheating capability and blowing bottles in hot moulds. This results in increased bottle performance and an output of up to 1,300 bottles per hour per mould for CSD and carbonated water (for a 1L bottle).


Returnable PET-bottles

Economic recovery in Europe? Maybe next year

Every downswing is followed by an upswing, said Michael Wittmann, president of Wittmann Technology GmbH: “That’s how economic cycles work.”

Wittmann’s exceptionally high backlog going into 2023 cushioned the company against feeling the effects of the economic downturn this year in terms of sales revenue. In fact, the figure for this year is expected to show an increase of 9 percent over last year, both because of the order backlog but also because a number of supply issues have also been resolved. Returnable PET-bottles

As a result, deliveries have picked up significantly. The impact of the economic slowdown will not be felt by Vienna-based Wittmann until 2024.

“We will only notice the economic slowdown in our overall sales revenue with a delay, specifically next year in 2024,” Wittmann said.

The downturn in economic activity has persisted since mid-2022, which is a relatively long period by historical standards, he noted.  Returnable PET-bottles

“This may also be explained by the fact that the investment boom in 2021 and early 2022 was exuberant and resulted in investments being brought forward — and these now have to be compensated for,” he said.

Although there are currently no indicators pointing to a significant economic recovery, he is optimistic that market activity will start to pick up next year.

“We’ll be looking at an improvement in order bookings compared with 2023 and a temporary slowdown in revenue in 2024,” Wittmann predicted.

He added that, generally speaking, the different regions in which the company operates have been affected to varying degrees by the economic crisis.

“Central Europe, Germany and Austria in particular, are suffering the most. In Western and Eastern Europe, we can already see slight signs of improvement.

Asia will also recover more quickly, while North America continues to show pleasing market activity.”  Returnable PET-bottles


Returnable PET-bottles

Recycling moves from mainstream to faltering industry

The last edition of Fakuma, back in October 2021, was hailed as the show when recycling moved from niche to mainstream.

The industry had started its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with sales books filling up quicker than in 2019. Regulations calling for recycled content and public pressure were highlighted as main factors driving demand on the show floor.

In the meantime, high prices for virgin resin, which guide the price of recyclates, were allowing recycling companies the margins to further invest in new products and technologies.  Returnable PET-bottles

Fast forward to 2023 and recycled resin prices are under severe downward pressure because of persistent weak demand, competition from the falling cost of off-spec virgin plastics and cheaper imports from Asia. Recycled PET has been particularly affected.

There are some recent signs of improvement, however. Virgin polymer prices registered strong price gains in September, and the situation might keep improving with crude oil costs soaring.

Nevertheless, weakened European economies and stubbornly strong inflation rates continue to restrain end user demand. When inflation is high and consumers end up having less money to spend, they tend to restrain their spending to essentials — are they still willing to pay a premium for packaging with recycled content, for example?

Sustainable Plastics caught up with the CEO of industry leader Erema Group, Manfred Hackl, to discuss how these circumstances are affecting the company. Compared with last year, the Austria-based manufacturer of machinery for plastic recycling is seeing percentage sales drops in the double digits.  Returnable PET-bottles

Mixed waste probably diffucult to recycled at Fakuma Trade Fair in Friedrichshafen Germany October 2023. Foto: Plastics News/Caroline Seidel

“The sales are not on the level of the last years. The intake is lower, especially in Europe, no discussion about that,” Hackl said.

“But we have other regions all over the world that we are still getting orders from. We are currently benefiting from two things. First, that we have a broad product portfolio, including recycling machines, filtration systems, high-tech components, and used and remanufactured machines. That broad customer base ensures higher stability, especially in these economically challenging times.

And second, we benefit from the fact that we brought two energy-saving technologies onto the market last year that help our customers make significant savings in energy consumption and thus achieve greater profitability.  Returnable PET-bottles


Returnable PET-bottles

Novamont passes to Versalis (ENI- Italy)

The transfer of 64% of the bioplastics producer to the chemical company of the ENI group has been completed.
After obtaining the green light from the European antitrust authorities, Versalis – a chemical company of the ENI group – announced that it had completed the acquisition of entire control of Novamont, of which it already held a 36% stake.
The operation was announced in April this year. Versalis took over the 64% held by Mater-Bi, a holding controlled by Investitori Associati II and NB Renaissance. Financial details of the deal were not provided.  Returnable PET-bottles
“The acquisition of Novamont will allow us, through the integration of the two portfolios, to accelerate our strategy in the direction of chemistry from renewable sources – comments Adriano Alfani, CEO of Versalis.
Today the process of integrating our businesses begins, which will enhance people’s skills and which will lead us to the definition of an industrial plan that will leverage a unique technological platform and an increasingly low-carbon product portfolio, in line with the strategy Versalis and with the ENI energy transition path”.
“Together we will have even more strength to face the urgent challenges of the ecological transition and to play a key role in the field of chemistry from renewable sources and the circular bioeconomy at a national and international level – comments Catia Bastioli on X -. This important result is not only a recognition of the path undertaken by Novamont over thirty years ago, but also of the commitment, dedication and results achieved by all the players in our supply chain”.  Returnable PET-bottles
Based in Novara, Novamont is active in the production of bioplastics and biobased intermediates under the Mater-bi and Origo-bi brands. It has plants in Terni, Bottrighe (RO) and Patrica (FR), as well as research laboratories in Novara, Terni and Piana di Monte Verna (CE). It also operates at the Matrìca site in Porto Torres (SS) in a 50/50 joint venture with Versalis. Overall it employs 650 people.
Returnable PET-bottles

Natureworks Announces Next Phase Of Construction On New Fully Integrated Ingeo™ PLA Biopolymer Manufacturing Facility In Thailand

NatureWorks, a manufacturer of polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers made from renewable resources, has made significant progress on the construction of their new fully integrated Ingeo™️ PLA biopolymer manufacturing facility in Nakhon Sawan Province, Thailand. As a fully integrated PLA complex, the plant will include three manufacturing facilities: lactic acid fermentation, lactide monomer production, and polymerization. The facility will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades. This effort reflects the company’s commitment to expanding customer access to fully biobased, low-carbon biomaterials with unique performance attributes valued by global downstream packaging and fiber markets.  Returnable PET-bottles

“The construction of our new facility is a significant undertaking that represents NatureWorks’ continued investment both in the Asia Pacific region and in the expansion of the biobased materials market,” said Steve Bray, VP of Operations at NatureWorks. “We have seen a rise in demand for Ingeo biopolymers throughout the Asia Pacific region, and this new complex will allow us to continue to sustainably and efficiently supply our markets with the highest quality biopolymers.”

The construction of this new facility will support rapid growth in multiple different markets including 3D printing, nonwovens for hygiene, compostable coffee capsules, tea bags, flexible packaging, and sustainable food serviceware. Construction is on track to support projected start-up activities and full production in 2025.

Ingeo biopolymer produced at this site will be made from sugarcane, an annually renewable feedstock that is locally abundant and will be sourced from farms within a 50-kilometer radius of the Nakhon Sawan site.  Returnable PET-bottles

“Over the last decade, the global materials market increasingly prioritized the use of biobased, sustainably sourced materials in order to reduce the impact on climate and facilitate climate-friendly processes like food scrap diversion from landfill to compost through the use of compostable materials,” said Jill Zullo, CEO at NatureWorks.

“The market’s evolution has redefined the scope of what we can accomplish, allowing us to think bigger when it comes to our manufacturing expansion. This new facility will enable us to meet growing consumer demand and continue providing unparalleled service to our international customer base.”  Returnable PET-bottles


Natureworks Announces Next Phase Of Construction On New Fully Integrated Ingeo™ PLA Biopolymer Manufacturing Facility In Thailand

Thai Acrylic Fibre Co.,Ltd. (TAF) To Showcase Regel™ And Other Sustainable Innovations In Textile Exchange Conference

Thai Acrylic Fibre Co.,Ltd. (TAF), one of the world’s largest acrylic fibre producers, is excited to announce its participation in the upcoming Textile Exchange Conference 2023 at Booth 145. Set to take place from October 23 to October 27 at the O2 InterContinental in Greenwich, London.

The Textile Exchange Conference brings together industry leaders, innovators, and experts from across the fashion, textile, and apparel industry, serving as a premier global platform to collaboratively explore challenges and solutions to overcome the climate crisis.

At the conference, TAF will be showcasing their latest innovation – Regel™ – recycled acrylic fibre. With its impressive MSI (Material Sustainability Index) scores, and outstanding LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) credentials, Regel™ is setting new standards for sustainability within the textile industry.  Returnable PET-bottles

Regel™, recycled acrylic fibre, has been developed with a strong focus on sustainability that offers a practical solution for a variety of textile applications. Its MSI scores and LCA demonstrate the reduced environmental impact throughout its life cycle and its potential to contribute to a supply chain, marking a significant step in the industry towards more eco-friendly textile production. Regel™ also retains the warmth, comfort, vibrant shades, and durability for which acrylic fibers are renowned through innovative “Regel technology”.


Thai Acrylic Fibre Co.,Ltd. (TAF) To Showcase Regel™ And Other Sustainable Innovations In Textile Exchange Conference

Sonopress and SK Chemicals agree on cooperation in the field of 100% recycled PET distributed by Biesterfeld Plastic for the EcoRecord Long-Playing Record

Leading storage media manufacturer Sonopress has developed a revolutionary new form of long-playing record that dramatically reduces the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Neither natural gas nor steam are needed to press the discs, and in test operations the energy savings were up to 85% compared to the conventional process. For the production of the novel “EcoRecord” LP, recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used as the base material instead of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can also be 100% recycled PET from SK Chemicals provided by SK Chemicals’ long-standing international distribution partner Biesterfeld Plastic. This allows a significant reduction in carbon emissions – while ensuring the same physical properties and safety as existing PET.    Returnable PET-bottles

Sonopress and SK Chemicals are thus actively leading the way in reducing carbon emissions by closely cooperating in the production of music long-playing records made from 100% recycled materials. SK Chemicals announced that it has used 100% of its recycled PET (CR-PET) for Sonopress’ new EcoRecord long-playing records.

The term CR refers to “Circular Recycling” or “Chemical Recycling” technology, which enables infinite reuse by breaking down plastic waste to the molecular level and reprocessing it back into raw materials. Compared to “mechanical recycling,” in which plastic waste is cleaned or shredded for reuse (in flake form), it has the advantage of maintaining high-value physical properties and safety.

Sonopress’ EcoRecords, which can be made of 100% recycled PET-CR, was jointly developed by SK Chemicals and its long-term strategic international Distribution Partner Biesterfeld Plastic, after signing a memorandum of understanding with Sonopress.

By using PET-CR in Sonopress’ EcoRecord music records, greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced compared to the previous petroleum-based PET, which meets the needs of consumers who prefer environmentally friendly products. Accordingly, Sonopress plans to expand the use of SK Chemicals’ PET-CR to other product groups, starting with this mass-produced packaging.    Returnable PET-bottles

In addition to Sonopress applications, SK Chemicals is using the CR material for Jeju Samdasoo’s RE:Born and has launched the “6℃ Eco Toothbrush” with recycled materials in collaboration with KNK, a company specializing in toothbrushes. The company is also expanding the scope of recycled materials by launching textiles made of recycled materials developed in collaboration with environmentally friendly social enterprises such as “Art Impact” and “Project 1907.”

Eung-soo Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of SK Chemicals’ Green Material Business, said, “In March, we acquired assets related to the recyclable recycled PET raw materials business in Shuye, China, and established SK Shantou to lay the foundation for a stable supply of recycled plastic raw materials.” He added, “Based on this, SK Chemicals plans to expand its recyclable recycled product groups to various industrial materials in the future.”  Returnable PET-bottles


Sonopress and SK Chemicals agree on cooperation in the field of 100% recycled PET distributed by Biesterfeld Plastic for the EcoRecord Long-Playing Record

1,000 km battery – Polyolefins producer details its catalytic pyrolysis process 19-10-2023

Returnable PET-bottles