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Definition and development of functional barriers for the use of recycled materials in multilayer food packaging

TECHNOLOGICAL WATCH

Type of information: NEWS

In this section, you can access to the latest technical information related to the BANUS project topic.

New demonstration plant launch - From PET bottles to food packaging

From May 28to 31, Amut and Erema invite guests to experience the closed material loop ofPET first-hand. Washed post-consumer PET bottle flakes will be recycled live atthe Amut headquarters in Novara, Italy, to make food contact gradethermoforming sheet in a direct process. This rPET sheet will be used at thePlast 2018 in Milan - which is being held at the same time - to makethermoformed trays for the food sector. Interested producers will be able toprocess their own input material on the demonstration system in future to makeplastic rolls. They can then test the samples later in their own thermoformingproduction to check the quality.

Amut and Eremaare holding an open house to present a sophisticated "bottle to packaging"process and show that the desired closed material loop in the PET sector isalready reality. The post-consumer flakes are processed in the newdemonstration facility - a direct combination of Vacurema technology and the AmutInline Sheet plant - in a single process to make food contact gradethermoforming sheet. "Energy savings, IV preservation, lower logistics andprocess costs lead to higher profitability and are unbeatable arguments whichare driving the trend towards direct food grade PET processing", says Amutpresident Piergianni Milani (in the top picture).

Thanks tothe direct combination of recycling and production technology there is nolonger any excess process stage. This is because the melt goes straight fromthe Vacurema to the Amut plant without the detour of pelletising.

"TheOpen House visitors will hold food contact grade thermoforming sheet producedfrom 100% post-consumer PET bottle flakes in their hands - without even theslightest amount of virgin material added", says Michael Buchberger, salesmanager for the bottle sector at Erema.

A freeshuttle service between the trade fair in Milan and the Amut headquarters inNovara will be available for attendees. The 100% rPET sheet will be used tomake thermoformed trays for the food sector at the Amut booth 111/112 in hall13 during the Plast show. The demonstration facility in Novara will continue tobe available for customer trials also after the Plast show. "Our Vacurematechnology is currently in use on 61 Inline Sheet facilities around the world.You have to be able to rely on the upstream and downstream process, especiallyin the case of direct processing. With Amut we are delighted to have foundanother long-term partner in the Inline Sheet sector", says Buchberger (inthe bottom picture together with Christoph Wöss, business development managerfor the application bottle at Erema).

 

100% PET flakes with 100% food contact approval

Thepost-consumer PET material is already decontaminated and pre-dried prior toextrusion in the vacuum reactor of the Vacurema Basic, with a throughput of upto 1,000 kg per hour. The newly developed Erema PET Laserfilter processes inputmaterial with a degree of contamination of over 1% without any difficulty anddischarges the filtered particles continuously. Thanks to its unique pressureconsistency this filter system is particularly suitable for inline production.Despite varying moisture, IV values and bulk densities in the input material,the melt has a constantly stable IV value and colour. Additionally, the processstands out through what is only a marginal IV drop. The melt then goes directlyinto the Amut Inline Sheet plant where it is processed into thermoformingsheet.

Theintegrated online viscometer shows the user the actual viscosity of the melt.High-stiffness cooling rolls guarantee precise material planarity. Anotherboost in sheet quality comes from the fully integrated inline thickness gaugecontrol. The hot lamination system represents an additional production benefitand is particularly suitable for sensitive barrier film thanks to theadjustable contact point. The wet coating at the end makes for an antistaticand anti-blocking solution.

Theclear advantage over other suppliers: the monolayer thermoforming sheetproduced from pure rPET is not only 100% food contact compliant, it alsofulfils the FDA regulations and Efsa guidelines.


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [606572].

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