PET trays: time to change the design, say plastic recyclers




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PET Tray material in the UK is becoming more and more of an issue. With false recyclability information deriving from PET bottle recyclability figures.

Yes it is all 'sortable', but is has little to no second hand commodity value as markets are few and far between for the sorted post consumer PET trays. Many bales of end of life PET trays get exported to the far east, get sent to refuse derived fuel or landfill sites, despite claims of a recyclable life cycle.

Make your trays from PP when possible. Please keep in mind that a PET bottle IS recyclable here in the UK and we have a fantastic network of companies pioneering the PET and HDPE bottle stream, where as PET trays tend to cause quality issues from contamination of bottle streams, though to harder to reach recycling targets, furthermore I believe they drag down the value of other types of plastics that normally have a good secondhand value. For example; a local waste management firm gets a price penalty on the percentage of non-bottle PET in a mixed plastics bale.

We want to help packaging designers make the right polymer choice for your packaging, one that is compatible with current UK recycling systems. A simple start would be to opt for single polymer packaging designs and one that used PP or HDPE where possible as a preferred polymer.

We understand this is not always possible due to limitations of certain pack designs, but if there is a choice for recyclability in the UK, PP or HDPE are the best options.

The debate continues -

Dan Jordan more than 4 years ago

EPPM subs 2017