View of Indorama company website with magnifying glass.

Indorama Ventures developed its PET food tray recycling technology over the past six years. | Pavel Kapysh/Shutterstock

Indorama Ventures is moving into the commercial stage of a project in which post-consumer PET trays are recycled into flake used in food packaging.

According to a press release, Thailand-based Indorama Ventures has been testing the technology at its Wellman France Recycling facility in Verdun for the past six years. The project is in collaboration with French environmental service companies Valorplast and Citeo.

Indorama noted it has recently developed a commercially feasible recycling solution for monolayer PET trays, with the collaboration of plastic packaging producer Klöckner Pentaplast. The technology will recycle over 50 million post-consumer PET trays per year, the press release said.

“Development of tray recycling has been a goal for some time. We are proud that – together with our partners – we have been able to develop a commercially and technically feasible process that allows us to produce a dedicated RPET flake product for the food packaging market,” Indorama Ventures Recycling Group said in the press release.

The facility is now processing 500 metric tons of PET trays monthly, recycling the trays into flake for use in new trays. The press release noted that the purity of the flakes is comparable with high-quality bottle flake.

The company is planning to scale up the technology and process 10,000 metric tons of tray flake in 2022, the press release said.

Catherine Klein, general director of Valorplast, said the “ambitious project” shows that plastic packaging recycling is moving forward and “the next steps could be the game-changer we look for.”

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