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Circular Economy

PET: the most recycled plastic in the world

08/03/2022

Recyclable plastics are identified by a triangle formed by three arrows and a number from 1 to 7. Although the use of this symbology is not mandatory, it facilitates the recycling process, since it helps the separation of the material for the formation of flakes (flakes produced when reprocessed material and reused in the industry).

 

PET plastic is recognized by the number 1. Coincidentally, the material is in first place among the most recycled in the the world. Due to its purity, it simplifies the separation process and, because it is thermoplastic, it can be melted and molded countless times when heated without loss of quality. These characteristics make it a material of great economic value for the recycling industry.

 

According to an article on the CicloVivo website, the latest PET Recycling Census revealed that Brazil recycled 55% of PET packaging in 2019. This means the reuse of 311,000 tons, 12% higher than estimated in 2018, and a turnover of R$3.6 billion. This system is responsible for generating income and jobs at hundreds of cooperatives in the country.

 

And why is PET so popular?

Formed by the reaction between terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol, PET is used on a large scale in the production of rigid packaging, representing 90% of the plastic bottles on the market.

It is a high-quality, rigid and lightweight material. Its application preference is due to its chemical and mechanical resistance, brightness and transparency, which can also offer safety and protection to the food products involved.

 

Recycling in Brazil

Fortunately, today we have advanced legislation in the recycling sector.

With resolution No. 20 of 2008 from ANVISA, the process has acquired its own laws for the production and control of recycled post-consumption PET resin, which can even be used for food grade.

 

Valgroup Recycling

We recycle around 135 thousand tons of plastic waste annually. We have the largest automated PET bottle recycling line in Brazil, where 300 million PET bottles are recycled every month.

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