Sustainability and Recycling for a True Circular Economy
Alpek Polyester UK Ltd is changing the journey that started over 40 years ago of manufacturing PET Resin to meet the consumer and brand needs for a packaging material to protect food and beverage offerings across the UK and EU.
The journey is now an expedition to lead innovation and execute technical solutions that meet the evolving needs for increased sustainability and reduced environmental impact. Novel solutions continue to make PET the packaging material of choice and come from Alpek Polyester’s innovative approach to recycling and incorporating integrated recycle content into its Laser+® PET product offerings.
As the only manufacturer of 100% recyclable PET resin in the UK, PET Resins produced at the Wilton Site have long been at the forefront of sustainability improvements for PET products and their end uses. Its premium fast reheat resin formulation, Laser+ ® reduced power consumption in customer moulding processes resulting in energy savings and subsequent reduced environmental impact. Continued research, development and reformulation over the years have further improved colour, clarity and overall performance of its PET offerings and have helped establish strong links with customers and brand owners.
We are not stopping there. As one of the largest recyclers of PET in the Americas, Alpek Polyester is not just committed to bringing innovative PET recycling solutions, capability and capacity to the markets it now serves in the UK and EU, but to establishing true circular economies to maximize the continuous use, reuse and benefits of PET packaging over and over again.
Single Pellet Technology ™ – SPT
Taking traditional mechanical recycling to the next step, Alpek Polyester’s “Single Pellet Technology ™ – SPT” is an innovative hybrid recycling process of integrating Post-Consumer Recycled PET (rPET) material into conventional virgin Polyethylene Terephthalate (vPET) production operations to create a Recycled PET (rPET) solution with integrated recycle content in a single pellet form.
The SPT process injects clear 100% rPET flake produced from consumer recycling programs into the virgin production process which further decontaminates and undergoes partial glycolysis utilizing Continuous Polymerization assets. This process has the potential to incorporate up to 25% rPET in every single resin pellet made. The result is an improved method of incorporating PCR into preforms and bottles while delivering nearly the same characteristics and performance as vPET. SPT enables simpler down stream processing for customers focused on adding recycle content to their end-use offerings. With SPT resin having integrated recycle content, dual feeding, inventory and storage of two materials is eliminated at customer operations to add recycle content to their end use offerings.
Enhanced Recycling Solutions
Innovation doesn’t stop with Single Pellet Technology. Alpek Polyester intends to demonstrate at scale enhanced recycling technologies that depolymerise more difficult to recycle PET products such as coloured bottles, trays and multi-layer, multi-material products. This will give brand owners the confidence that will enable advanced plastic composites to be used in the marketplace to deliver special enhanced properties but still enable these typically harder to recycle end-use applications to be recycled at the end of life.
Alpek Polyester continues the expedition and is evaluating several enhanced recycling technologies within its extensive R&D portfolio and will bring the winning solutions to the market alongside partners.
Circular Economy Solutions
The manufacturing of PET journey that started over 40 years ago at Alpek Polyesters Wilton site has evolved into an expedition for sustainability and recycling solutions to meet the demands of all our stakeholders including consumers, governments and brand owners. These solutions cannot be accomplished alone and will take the collective efforts of a circular economy. Alpek Polyester is committed to bringing these solutions and to deliver on our mission to excel at improving everyday lives delivering better and more responsible solutions through chemistry and materials.
With a global footprint of assets, capability and knowledge, Alpek Polyester will harness these resources to continue to make PET the packaging material of choice across the UK and EU.