NPE '09: New technology slashes costs for recycled PET - exec

22 June 2009 20:42  [Source: ICIS news]

CHICAGO (ICIS news)--A recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) processing unit marketed by newly-formed PTI Recycling Systems will cut costs and broaden product offerings to the global plastics market, the company's director said on Monday.

With a 40% lower estimated cost compared with most other recycled PET technologies, PTI Recycling Systems' LNO processing unit can be integrated at any point in the supply chain without requiring massive capital investment or costly distribution networks, Stephen Hawksworth told ICISnews at the triennial NPE2009 show in Chicago.

"This includes recycling plants, brand owners, retailers, municipalities, etc.," Hawksworth said.

PTI Recycling Systems is a subsidiary of Ohio-based Plastic Technologies (PTI).

The base unit produces 4,500 tonnes/year of recycled PET on less than 2,500 square feet, and is also available in a larger 9,000 tonne/year unit.

More importantly, the system generates the demand needed to grow a sustainable recycling culture in areas otherwise dominated by the use-and-bury lifecycle of plastics, and negates much of the prohibitively expensive logistics costs that have long throttled recycled PET growth.

"There has been a tsunami of interest from people who want to avoid those logistics problems associated with [recycled] PET," Hawksworth said.

International interest has been especially strong in Brazil, where Sao Paulo authorities are bandying a mandated 90% collection rate for recycled PET, he added.

While overseas delivery of complete recycling systems might normally be unviable for smaller players, PTI Recycling Systems modular process equipment arrives pre-built, pre-wired and pre-plumbed on shipping sleds, he said.

Once installed, the system only requires the preferred drying fuel and electricity, and can be fully controlled by one operator, Hawksworth added.

Plastic Technologies president Craig Barrow said that his company's new subsidiary is not just engaged in traditional equipment sales, but aims to provide ongoing support and upgrades as the technology continuously improves.

By enabling the low-cost creation of small regional and mobile recycling hubs, Hawksworth said that the increased demand for PET flakes should also encourage higher PET reclamation rates.

The International Plastics Showcase (NPE) in Chicago was expected to draw 75,000 participants and runs through Friday.

For more on PET visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Landon Feller
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