PWP unveils plans for second rPET plant on soaring demand

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Polyethylene terephthalate Recycling

A projected surge in demand for recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) materials in food and beverage packing has triggered a US company to announce plans for a second recycling plan, just a month after its first opened.

California-based PWP unveiled proposals for a second facility just weeks after bringing its first recycling site on-stream. The new plant, to be based in the firm’s home state, will initially cost $20m and is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2010. The company confirmed it will use the reprocessed resins to manufacture its own thermoformed products.

Food grade resins

The announcement closely follows the opening of its 80,000-square-foot recycling facility in West Virginia, which PWP claimed was one of the first in North America by a thermoforming company.

For the second planned centre, PWP said it would once again be working with Coca-Cola among others to convert post consumer rPET bottles into Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-compliant resin for food-grade suitable material. The company confirmed it was planning to add more recycling plants to its portfolio in the future based on expectations US demand for rPET would increase over the next five years and eventually double.

PWP Industries chairman & CEO Leon Farahnik told “We will be using the Post-Consumer Recycled content that we produce from our recycling center back into the thermoforming production of our food packaging for the supermarkets, food processors, QSR’s, and convenient store markets.”

Salad bowls, tubs, bakery packaging, produce packaging, tamper-resistant packaging were some of the products the firm said would be manufactured from the recycled resin.

Doubling capacity by 2011

Upon opening in 2010, the facility is projected to have an annual capacity to recycle 40 million pounds of PET bottles. A second phase, projected to be operational during the second quarter of 2011, will increase annual PET bottle capacity to 80 million pounds.

Based on the annual capacity to recycle 80 million pounds of post-consumer recycled PET bottles, Farahnik estimated the new recycling center would result in the annual elimination of 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and a reduction of 296,000 cubic yards of landfill space or 56 football fields one yard high.

"With the successful start-up of the West Virginia facility, we believe the time is right to build the largest Post-Consumer recycling facility in PWP's founding state of California. This will enable us to further our commitment to save energy, reduce the output of carbon dioxide and keep plastic out of landfills,"​ he said.

rPET demand increasing

Currently, 4.5 billion pounds of PET material was being used in the US for the manufacture of plastic bottles, said Farahnik, before adding that PWP was looking forward to a doubling of demand for rPET in the US and that it planned to build further recycling plants.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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