• The new beverage display trays will be made from 70 per cent PCR material.
    The new beverage display trays will be made from 70 per cent PCR material.

Greiner Packaging says it is taking a step towards a circular economy in collaboration with its partners, including beverage brand Rauch, which will display its bottles in European supermarkets using trays made of 70 per cent PCR (post-consumer recycled) rPET material.

Material taken from yellow bags will be used for the beverage trays, the company says, having found that rPET flakes can be produced from post-consumer material by means of thorough pre- and post-sorting followed by shredding and washing. From these flakes, a PET film (including 70 per cent recycled material) is subsequently extruded, which is then thermoformed into rPET trays by the Greiner Packaging business unit Greiner Assistec.

The rPET flakes are produced from input materials other than PET beverage bottles, such as cups, tubs, and trays. The company points out that the project thus shows it is possible to establish alternative PET value flows. After all, to produce packaging from recycled PET, the plastics industry today mainly uses rPET flakes obtained by recycling PET bottles. This “bottle flow” is already well-established. The potential for recycling other PET packaging from the yellow bag, on the other hand, is not yet being exploited to any great extent. However, the aim is to establish corresponding recycling streams on a large scale in the future.

“For us, creating beverage trays from rPET material that does not come from the bottle flow is a great opportunity: On the one hand, it means we are focusing on a sustainable product. On the other hand, we are promoting a tray-to-tray cycle. As a beverage manufacturer, we are of course particularly keen to ensure that high-quality rPET from the bottle flow is also available for the production of new rPET bottles and that alternative forms of packaging are used for the manufacture of other products,” said Hanno Mandl, purchasing manager at Rauch Fruchtsäfte, about the implementation of the recycling trays.

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