New life for recycled PET

Plastic food packaging provider, Par-Pak plans to invest in a process that will decontaminate and purify recycled PET so that it can be re-used for food packaging.

The process, which has approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, uses a purification and filtration extrusion line and pelletizing process. It will allow re-pelletized PET resin to be used as raw material to feed the company’s existing PET sheet extrusion lines, said the company. The post-consumer recycled PET flakes — to be purchased from regional PET washing plants — are decontaminated in an agitated, heated vacuum reactor to comply with FDA requirements for food contact. The flakes are fed to the extruder for heating and plasticizing, and filtered to remove residual solid contaminants. The melt is then pelletized, and crystallized prior to being stored in silos or packaged in boxes.

Par-Pak expects to have the PET repelletizing line to start production by early 2010.

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