To foster a simple and efficient shift to recycled PET, the French Group, Sidel, has created the RePETableTM global platform of services which enables customers to use up to 100% of rPET without any impact on the production of bottles or a reduction in the performances required of the packaging.
With over forty years of experience in PET blow moulding and packaging, Sidel has developed a deep understanding of the characteristics of recycled PET, its variability and its impact on bottle production, offering its services as a unique interlocutor in this specific field and making use of the availability of a pilot plant. As Jérôme Neveu, Packaging & Moulds Product Manager at Sidel explains:
«To achieve the same level of performance as virgin PET, the production process of rPET bottles must be adapted to the resin used. For this reason, our RePETable offer consists of solutions that meet the challenges associated with the production of rPET bottles, guaranteeing mechanical strength with excellent material extensibility and mouldability of the containers».
In practice, Sidel offers “rPET-ready” features - with services related to packaging, moulds, machine and process upgrades - that enable consistently high levels of production performance and quality, even with 100 per cent rPET. The blow-moulding process is optimised to handle the issues associated with different rPET grades, and out-of-specification rPET is identified and discarded before processing.
A virtuous closed-loop process for food-grade rPET bottles
Sidel’s investment in the small-scale recycling pilot line supports primary packaging suppliers in innovating new materials for closures, labels, glues, additives, dyes and any other primary packaging material.
The services provided through this pilot line ensure the efficiency of the primary packaging recycling process, resin quality and performance of rPET bottles. Sidel is using this line to recreate all steps of the recycling process: washing, drying, pellet extrusion, crystallisation and solid-state polymerisation, including dedicated laboratory and process controls at each stage. Sidel’s packaging and machinery experts study all aspects of the process: from post-consumer PET bales and flakes, including pellets ready to be injected into preforms, to blow moulding and industrialisation of rPET bottles. This global approach positions Sidel as a unique centre of expertise for closed-loop PET packaging. In addition, it increases knowledge of the PET recycling market and helps verify that primary packaging material innovations comply with bottle-to-bottle recycling.
While demand for rPET continues to grow, driven by international regulations and brands’ commitment to circularity in packaging, the cost of rPET fluctuates and remains higher than that of virgin PET. Sidel’s packaging optimisation services for container weight reduction help to significantly offset the cost of rPET resin and achieve savings with a rapid return on investment.