Association says trays are valuable, despite recycling challenges.
The European-based plastics recycling organization Plastics Recyclers Europe is calling for plastics recyclers to separate PET bottles and containers from PET trays as a way to boost the efficient recycling of the plastics.
In a statement, EuPR says that PET trays must have their own recycling streams, which need to be sorted separately from PET bottles to ensure resource efficiency.
Casper van den Dungen, EuPR’s chairman, says that “trays and bottles are two different types of products, which cannot be recycled in the same recycling line. Their designs and chemical compositions are not the same and can create quality problems for existing PET recyclers.”
“The collection schemes and sorting centers cannot push this issue down the value chain” van Dungen adds. “The 700,000 metric tons of PET trays yearly consumed in Europe can be recycled as valuable material if they are properly separated from other streams such as PET bottles or polyolefins. This trend will enable investments in lines able to recycle trays and improve Europe’s resource efficiency.”
The EuPR also is calling for a joint value chain approach to recycling PET trays and warns about one-sided actions that could endanger the recycling of one of the most recycled plastics in Europe.