14 March 2013 16:19 [Source: ICIS news]
AMSTERDAM (ICIS)--Used thermoform packaging entering the recycling stream is reducing the quality of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET), a senior industry consultant said on Thursday.
Surfaces added to the thermoforms enter the recycled stream and contaminate the chain, Edward Kosior, managing director of Nextek, said during a question and answer session at the ICIS PET Value Chain conference, which runs 14-15 March.
“The [R-PET] industry is suffering from decreasing qualities ... the industry is almost poisoning itself,” Kosior said.
Kosior’s comments echo concerns from the wider R-PET flake market in Europe over increasing variance in grades between flake producers compared with previous years.
This was attributed to a change in input material with higher levels of contaminants entering the feedstock chain.
Sources added that more sophisticated separation equipment is increasingly needed, as higher quantities of waste product are degrading material quality for those without sorting operations.
This has led to a two-tier market, according to sources, with lower grade flake material being sold at substantially lower prices, while there is less demand - particularly for colourless material - as it cannot be used in premium applications such as for conversion into food-grade pellets.
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