Greiner Uses Recycled PET for Beverage Trays

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Greiner Uses Recycled PET for Beverage Trays
Image courtesy of Greiner Packaging

In collaboration with its partners, Greiner Packaging is advancing towards a circular economy by introducing a new initiative. Going forward, Rauch brand beverages will be showcased in supermarkets using trays composed of 70% PCR (post-consumer recycled) r-PET material.

In addition to employing bottles crafted from 100% r-PET, Rauch is now incorporating trays made from 70% recycled PET, enhancing tray-to-tray recycling to lessen reliance on PET bottle circulation. These trays are manufactured by Greiner Packaging's specialised business unit, Greiner Assistec, known for producing customer-specific plastic components.

Familiar to supermarket shoppers are the practical trays facilitating the easy extraction of beverage bottles. Not only do these trays allow for efficient and space-saving bottle transport, but they also spare supermarket staff the time-consuming task of shelf placement. As part of its sustainability commitment, Rauch Fruchtsäfte will adopt beverage trays made from 70% recycled PET in the future.

The new trays derive their material from waste collected in yellow bags. Through a meticulous process of pre- and post-sorting, followed by shredding and washing, r-PET flakes are produced from post-consumer material.

These flakes are then extruded into a PET film (comprising 70% recycled material), which, in turn, is thermoformed into r-PET trays by Greiner Assistec. Remarkably, the recycled trays exhibit no compromise in quality compared to those made from new materials.

The initiative not only repurposes waste from yellow bags but also challenges the established "bottle flow" recycling model. Typically, recycled PET for packaging comes from PET beverage bottles, forming a well-established "bottle flow." This project, however, demonstrates the possibility of establishing alternative PET value streams by utilising input materials such as cups, tubs, and trays from the yellow bag.

Creating beverage trays from r-PET material outside the conventional bottle flow presents a dual opportunity for Rauch Fruchtsäfte. Firstly, it aligns with their commitment to sustainable products, and secondly, it promotes a tray-to-tray cycle. Rauch Fruchtsäfte aims to contribute to the widespread establishment of corresponding recycling streams for alternative PET packaging in the future.

Hanno Mandl, the purchasing manager at Rauch Fruchtsäfte, emphasises the significance of using high-quality r-PET from the bottle flow for new r-PET bottles while concurrently adopting alternative packaging for diverse product manufacturing.

Greiner Packaging's success in this endeavour is built on its extensive experience processing recycled PET for packaging. In September 2022, the company acquired a Serbian r-PET flakes recycler, now operating as Greiner Recycling.

Peter Fessl, Director Operations Recycling at Greiner Packaging, asserts that this project with Rauch Fruchtsäfte is just one step in their overarching goal of redirecting recycling streams away from bottles, with more initiatives to follow.

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Source: Greiner Packaging

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