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Learn about bottle-to-bottle: the pet recycling process

8 de March de 2022

Bottle-to-bottle: the PET recycling process that transforms a post-consumer bottle into a new one, ready to be filled.

Bottle-to-bottle is the name given to the set of stages of decontaminating  post-consumer bottles for the production of recycled food-grade PET. This process involves several separation and cleaning processes. In it, the PET bottles are separated from other plastics by automatic selectors to achieve a purity greater than 99%.

Afterward, they are milled and washed cold and hot to obtain hyper-washed flakes. These flakes are submitted to high temperatures for decontamination and extrusion, obtaining an amorphous pellet that is then crystallized.

To reach the standard of quality necessary for the production of a 100% recycled bottle, there is still the need for an additional step with the presence of a solid state polymerization reactor. This reactor is responsible for the final decontamination and recovery of the initial PET molecular structure. All these steps together make PET recycling possible, reconstituting its original properties and allowing its injection and blowing to derive a new bottle.

 

All of Valgroup’s recycling plants use this process, and together, Brazil, Mexico and Spain process more than 350 million post-consumer PET bottles per month, producing more than 100,000 tons of post-consumer recycled resin per year.