Pictured from left to right, Michael Buchberger and Christop Woess, both with Erema.
Ansfelden, Germany-based equipment maker Erema and Amut S.p.A., based in Novara, Italy, have announced they are hosting an open house at Amut’s headquarters May 28-31, 2018, to demonstrate how postconsumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles can be recycled into food-contact-grade thermoforming sheet in a direct process.
The “Bottle to Packaging” presentation will be on live display during the three-day open house. The companies say the demonstration will “show that the desired closed material loop in the PET sector is already reality.” The postconsumer flakes will be processed in a new demonstration facility a—direct combination of Vacurema technology and the Amut inline sheet plant—in a single process to make food-contact-grade thermoforming sheet.
Amut President Piergianni Milani says, “Energy savings, IV preservation, lower logistics and process costs lead to higher profitability and are unbeatable arguments, which are driving the trend toward direct food grade PET processing.”
Amut says thanks to the direct combination of recycling and production technology, there no longer is any excess process stage. This is because the melt goes straight from the Vacurema to the Amut plant without the detour of pelletizing.
The recycled PET (rPET) sheet will be used at the Plast Milan exhibition, which is being held at the same time, to make thermoformed trays for the food sector. Plast is held in Milan every three years and is marketed to the plastics and rubber industries. Interested producers will be able to process their own input material on the demonstration system in the future to make plastic rolls. They can then test the samples later in their own thermoforming production to check the quality.
“The open house visitors will hold food-contact-grade thermoforming sheet produced from 100 percent postconsumer PET bottle flakes in their hands, without even the slightest amount of virgin material added,” says Michael Buchberger, sales manager for the bottle sector at Erema.
A free shuttle service between the trade fair in Milan and Amut’s headquarters in Novara will be available for attendees.
Buchberger adds, “Our Vacurema technology is currently in use on 61 inline sheet facilities around the world. You have to be able to rely on the upstream and downstream process, especially in the case of direct processing. With Amut we are delighted to have found another long-term partner in the inline sheet sector.”