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Backing PRE's call on separate PET tray recycling

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Backing PRE's call on separate PET tray recycling

Plastics Recyclers Europe has warned that that PET trays must be recycled separately. It says “these valuable products need to be sorted separately from the PET bottle streams and recycled separately in order to ensure resource efficiency”.
Casper van den Dungen, Plastics Recyclers Europe PET chairman, said: “Trays and bottles are two different types of products which cannot be recycled in the same recycling line. Their designs and chemical compositions are not the same and can create quality problems for existing PET recyclers. The collection schemes and sorting centres cannot push this issue down the value chain.”
The 700,000 tonnes of PET trays yearly consumed in Europe can be recycled as valuable material if they are properly separated from other streams such as PET bottles or polyolefins.
This trend will enable investments in lines able to recycle trays and improve Europe’s resource efficiency.
Plastics Recyclers Europe calls for a joint value chain approach to recycle valuable PET trays and warns about one-sided actions that could endanger the recycling of one of the most recycled plastics in Europe.
We very much agree with this analysis which is why we developed the RFresh Elite range of meat and poultry trays.
The new Rfresh Elite range of rPET trays are 100% recyclable at the end of their service life and the removal of the traditional PE sealing layer, historically the most secure method of hermetic sealing, will delight recyclers and help the UK meet ambitious new recycling targets.
We’ve been granted the UK patent for our unique Rfresh Elite range of trays which use a novel sealant technology on the tray flange to create a secure seal with the lidding film, thus removing the industry standard laminated PE base film.
Alan Davey, our director of Innovation at LINPAC Packaging, said: “We believe the Rfresh Elite range will have a big impact on the meat and poultry sector and the major retailers are very positive about the new range. In particular they like the fact that the new LINPAC patented technology will facilitate recycling and help them drive towards Courtauld Commitment targets and legislated UK packaging waste targets.”
The new trays have been developed in conjunction with our lightweighting programme which has been implemented to significantly reduce the overall weight and carbon footprint of many of their trays whilst ensuring that they maintain excellent performance and functionality levels.
The removal of the PE base film brings other important benefits. It improves the tray clarity markedly bringing the sparkle associated with PET bottles to LINPAC’s thermoformed food tray and reduces the tray weight by up to 3%, when linked into the lightweighting programme the weight is reduced by a further 10%.  Through innovative creative design, investment in improving manufacturing systems and advanced engineering skills, we are now making trays which are significantly lighter than previous designs. This leads to considerable carbon footprint reductions for manufacturers, customers and consumers. In short, through process and product innovation, we have been able to reduce carbon significantly while retaining operational efficiency and product integrity.

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