PET to PET Recycling Österreich recycled almost 17,800 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles in the first six months of this year. The Austrian company, whose shareholders are the beverage manufacturers Coca-Cola, Egger, Rauch Fruchtsäfte, Spitz and Vöslauer Mineralwasser, reported a year-on-year growth of more than 17 per cent and a new record high processing volume. In the full year 2022, PET to PET Recycling achieved growth of 20 per cent, recycling close to 33,000 tonnes of PET bottles.
"We are of course delighted with the increase in the volume processed and the progress towards better closing the PET beverage bottle loop in Austria – however, we are facing a very challenging future,” remarked Christian Strasser, managing director of PET to PET Recycling. A significant downturn in the use of recycled PET on the market was expected for the second half of the year, he said. Mr Strasser based this forecast on the persistently challenging economic climate, continued high inflation and, above all, the large gap between virgin and recycled PET prices.
Co-managing director Thomas Billes pointed out that Austria already used enough recycled PET (rPET) in the production of new PET bottles to meet the 30 per cent minimum recycled content target that does not become binding until 2030. "By building up bottle-to-bottle recycling since 2007, we have not only already achieved the 2030 targets in this country, but even significantly exceeded them,” he remarked.
However, managing director Christian Strasser feels that a significant challenge lies ahead: A 50 per cent minimum recycling quota is required by law for single-use plastic packaging starting in 2025, but it has yet to be established in which new products and by whom this recycled plastic should be used. "In this respect, appropriate measures still need to be taken to create unbroken materials cycles,” he said.
PET to PET Recycling operates a facility in Müllendorf, Austria, that sorts post-consumer PET bottles and shreds them into flakes before washing them. Two different converting lines turn this material into food-grade PET flakes or recycled PET pellet for use in the production of new beverage bottles.