The new frontier of PET recycling in post-consumer food packaging trays
VP Italia has always paid great attention to the recycled materials sector, and in recent years has focused its interest on the post-industrial and post-consumer recovery of plastic materials. The acquisition of B. For Pet in 2020 has allowed it to enter the world of the Green Economy, giving birth to a new group, with operations in Fara Gera d’Adda (BG), Lavis (TN) and Campolattaro (BN), which integrates the distribution of technopolymers and commodities with the production of flakes and R-PET.
The group’s mission is constant investment to achieve even more efficient recycling standards. The aim is to obtain a higher quality product combined with a lower environmental impact during the manufacturing process, in the knowledge that the planet deserves more respect.
“We have been recycling plastics from separate waste collection and processing waste since 2011 with the aim of becoming a benchmark in our sector,” explains Remo Brusaferri, founder of B. For Pet. We have many years of experience in the Plastic Waste Management sector, although our company is young and composed of young people, with an average age of 35.
The new production site in Campolattaro, inaugurated in January 2021, has been designed according to the highest quality standards in terms of production, safety, and with recycling facilities with near-zero environmental impact, and will be further expanded by increasing its total capacity to 7000 tonnes/year, which, together with the production unit in Trento, will bring B. For Pet to a total production capacity of 13,000 tonnes.
We have also invested heavily in operator training and research, which we believe represents the future of every company and in particular of those who, like us, operate in such a strategic field. We are active in the study of ever new recycling solutions and alternative materials from post-consumer recovery’.
Towards new challenges: PET tray recycling
In today’s market, which is experiencing a shortage of recycled PET and high purchase costs, the need to find alternative products and raw materials is becoming more and more prevalent. It is in this context that a pool of companies in the food packaging sector has created a technical table involving COREPLA, the Italian consortium for the recovery of plastic packaging, and B. For Pet.
“We accepted the challenge that set as a common goal the attempt to recover PET and PET/PE trays, which until then had been destined for incineration or at best for waste-to-energy plants,” Brusaferri recounts. After more than two years of research, we can proudly say that we have succeeded in making sense of our efforts. The cooperation and tenacity of all the partners who have believed and invested in this project have resulted in a new secondary raw material that international operators call ‘TRAY TO TRAY’ and which, with due proportion, will be the counterpart to ‘Bottle to Bottle’ in the production of new trays for food packaging.
In the Campolattaro plant, which has its own in-house research and development centre, we have recently completed the tests related to this project, with extremely positive results. The success of the industrial sampling carried out by the partners with whom we share this initiative, and the awareness of working for a common cause that will allow everyone to reach new frontiers in the world of recycling, have convinced us to further implement our production system. The industrialisation of this innovation will make a conspicuous quantity of PET from the recycling of post-consumer food trays available to our partners in the coming months. For the current year, we plan to produce about 3,000 tonnes of PET from 100% recovered trays. However, further investments are underway to make this new second raw material even more performing in terms of quality, which will allow us to reach 30,000 tonnes of production in the next three years (incoming product guaranteed by a contract with Corepla for the next three years for 30,000 tonnes).
B. For Pet will shift part of its production in 2023 from the processing of post-consumer bottles – which have now become a rich and sought-after product for everyone – to a poor product that is of interest to few, but which will represent the future of national recycling.
At B. For Pet we wanted to give this second raw material a commercial name by registering its trademark: R – BF PETTM was born, the PET coming 100% from the recovery of post-consumer trays.
Following the agreement between B. For Pet, Corepla and the pool of companies involved in this project, B. For Pet stands at the top of the recovery chain in the PET world. Our contribution will represent a virtuous example, which is likely to be followed by other recyclers, and we will all work together to ensure that our planet can once again become what we all dream it can be’.