RECYCLED POLYMERS IN COMPANY’S ARTICLES: OUTLINES FOR CUSTOMERS.
Our company supports the trend for more environment-friendly technical solutions and supports global Sustainable Development strategy as it is widely understood and accepted: more sustainable processes and resources; more sustainable product portfolio; and offering society solutions that enable everyone to enjoy an increasingly sustainable life.
Of course, the scale of our business is not big but we’re keen to make our contribution and meet the requirements of our customers as well.
It is a common knoweledge that at the current stage of relevant technologies’ development the sustainable approach entailes extra costs and we’re willing to inform possible customers about this inevitable side of the process.
We do not pretend to know situation in full details; the below information reflects our current status and may be adjusted, updated or corrected.
There are three major components for sustainable production applications:
PET material for jars and bottles
PP and HDPE for the caps
Liners for jars and botlles sealing
1. PET Jars.
SIA Trypet has tested post-consumer food-grade recycled PET (rPET) in both types of the technoligical processes, i.e., Injection Stretch Blowmoulding (monostage, ISBM) and Re-heat Injection Stretch Blowmoulding (2-stage, RSBM).
The rPET supplier is Mosinkhoff B.V. (Netherlands), food-grade, certified.
The tests have proved that any ratio of rPET can be used in production, up to 100%. For this moment one jar (1000 ml 2-stage 63-mm neck jar) is produced in a regular mode as a serial article.
Meanwhile, there are some points that influence the cost of production:
- Raw material price: rPET is more expensive in the market than virgin PET. Current price gap is about EUR600-650/MT.
- rPET is in high demand and may not be available at needed time. Payment terms for rPET are more strict.
- Quality of the rPET is high but still molecular structure can not be as stable as it is in virgin PET. It leads to considerably higher scrap ratio during start-up and production (6-10% comparing to 1-2% in case of virgin PET).
Due to the above we duly ask our customer to consider, that offer price for the articles produced with rPET will be necesseraly higher.
The following template may be used to get the right picture:
Regular price (virgin PET article) + 10% (handling and extra scrap cost) + rPET raw price surchage (rPET material premium times rPET percentage in an article).
2. Plastic Closures from the Recycled and Bio-based Materials.
2.1. Recycled PP/PE resin.
It should be noted that there are no commercially available post-consumer recycled polypropylene or polyethylene for food applications.
As there is no possibility to guarantee safe heavy metals and other properies that are subject to migration test from lot to lot, we can not offer this oprion for food or cosmetic industry.
For non-food applications recycled materials are available. We in Trypet tested several grades in our caps and it worked quite well with some of them. There are some limits on coloring – black and grey are the standard options for recycled PP.
Pricewise recycled resin is even cheaper than primary material, but final price depends on order quantity.
2.2. Bio-based resins.
There are several grades of bio-based polymers. From the point of availability, though, we found that sugar-cane based polypropylene is the most appropriate for the moment.
Relevant tests have been arranged with different grades and we are ready to offer our standard caps made with bio-based plastics.
There are no limits in coloring (at least, for standard colors) and physical properties of the closures are generally the same with that made of standard resins.
We found no substantial difficulties in processing of bio-based resin (like extra scrap or else). But, there is a substantial price gap between standard material and bio-based material – EUR750-800/MT, or 50-60%.
We shall state that we have just started to investigate options in this field and so, do not know much. There are suppliers of liners from expandable PE and PP made of bio-based materials and these liners can be quoted by request.
Meanwhile, we are not yet aware of foil-free options for sealing, or “green” press-sensitive liners. It does not mean that they do not exist, we just may not know about them.