Tray-to-tray recycling

Recycled tray PET 

Tray-to-tray recycling – the path
to ensuring true circularity

Rigid food packaging is an important part of modern, everyday life. However, it is no secret that food packaging far too often ends up as waste. This is not a local problem, but a global challenge that needs to be addressed. Designing for circularity is key to tackle the challenge. At Cirrec, we close the loop on PET food packaging with technology that regenerates European household waste turning it into valuable raw materials for the food packaging industry.

To succeed in transitioning to a circular economy for the rigid food packaging industry, we need to make packaging that is fully recyclable and based on recycled content. Today, we are seeing a growing demand for recycled mono-material PET. However, using recycled PET is not enough. We need to raise the bar – and take a closer look at the source of the material. It is no longer sufficient to differentiate between post-consumer and pre-consumer, as there is a significant difference between tray rPET and bottle rPET.

Tray-to-tray and bottle-to-bottle

Tray rPET vs bottle rPET

In today’s production of rigid PET trays, there is a heavy reliance on the use of raw material from recycled PET bottles. However, when this material is used as content in the food packaging industry, it can be considered a form of downcycling as it breaks the bottle-to-bottle recycling loop. To prevent this, the food packaging industry should aim at establishing a closed loop for food packaging, where post-consumer products become material input for new products. At Cirrec, we have the technology and system to make this happen.

From virgin materials to PCR content

Over the last decade, the PET market has evolved significantly going from virgin material to post-consumer recycled content. Within the packaging industry, recycled bottle flakes have been an important input resource. This is about to change. With the Extended Producer Responsibility, the European bottle industry is obliged to implement 25% recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030. This will be a game changer in the European circular economy – and will automatically cause a shortfall in supply of recycled PET material from bottle. Tray-to-tray recycling will ensure an additional circular outlet for the valuable PET material.

We close the loop on PET food packaging
- ensuring circular recycling of household
food packaging for the benefit of producers,
consumers, and the environment.

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