Italy-based sparkling water firm Ferrrarelle SpA has installed a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle-to-bottle recycling system at its plant in Presenzano, Italy. The system has been supplied by Novara, Italy-based AMUT.
“With our new recycling plant, we take a step further in the ecofriendly attitude we have been pursuing over the last years,” says Pietro Bortone, plant manager at the Presenzano Ferrarelle plant. “Already concerned with several social and cultural international projects, Ferrarelle is also taking care of its territory by increasing its productivity, supporting people employment [and] reducing waste volume and pollution,” he adds.
According to AMUT, Ferrarelle “represents a best practice in the circular economy. It is one of the first companies in Europe involved in the beverage sector that has decided to close the loop in PET bottles treatment by internally dealing [with] the whole process.”
With the AMUT technology, Ferrarelle will produce up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds) per hour of flakes recycled from post-consumer PET bottles, and will produce flakes suitable for food application thanks to a re-gradation process.
At the plant, bales of bottles bales are opened and sent to a feeder. A detector performs an initial positive selection to separate bottles from contaminants before the washing phase. The system allows the use of PET bottles bales not thoroughly sorted, even from bales with considerable amounts of commingled materials.
The PET bottles are conveyed to the AMUT Delabeller-PreWasher, a patented machine using a dry process to remove labels and perform an initial cleaning. The dry process is billed by AMUT as reducing energy consumption.
Two NIR (near infrared) detectors then perform color separation and remove metal, to help final sorting and further purify the stream from any non-PET material.
After shredding, the resulting flakes are washed with AMUT patented technology. The company’s Turbo Washer and Friction Washer are designed to remove remaining fine pollutants and glue.
“The combination of these machines allows treatment even in the case of highly polluted bottles, achieving excellent results in term of final product quality and output,” states AMUT.
AMUT describes Ferrarelle SpA as an historic Italian company that bottles mineral waters, with a brand that “identifies [it as] the quintessential naturally effervescent water since 1893.”