Popular in non-food and food-grade packaging for meat, fish, dairy and ready meals, black and metallized films are currently very difficult to recycle as the infrared is absorbed by the carbon instead of being reflected towards the sensor, rendering the material invisible. As part of a global circular economy strategy, RETAL Baltic is installing a state-of-the-art line to process more r-PET and PET scraps, and is gradually moving away from black masterbatch with carbon to create more circular black and metallized films that are easily recognized in standard recycling sorting facilities.
Investment in the new extrusion line at RETAL Baltic means the global plastic packaging manufacturer is continuing to provide greater volumes of rPET film, with 100% rPET films now able to be produced. Robertas Grizas, RETAL Baltic’s APET Production Development Manager, says, “We want to ensure that we are maximizing the value of plastic waste, both post-industrial and post-consumer. By investing in this new extrusion line – which can process all types of PET scrap, we can produce food-grade black and metallized rPET film that can be recognized by recycling sorting equipment as it uses an alternative to black carbon masterbatch, and we can also use up to 100% rPET flakes in its manufacture.”
As thermoformer and brand owner customers increase their demands on the sustainability credentials of their packaging, global plastic packaging manufacturer RETAL is proud to move forwards alongside them. Grizas continues, “There’s no need to incinerate or send black and metallized films to landfill anymore as RETAL can effectively reprocess it back into production for food-grade packaging for global brand owners.”
The new RETAL Baltic extrusion line will further boost the company’s commitment to the circular economy by processing waste from multilayer films as well as the black and metallized films. Grizas adds, “RETAL has acquired the technology to use hard to recycle post-industrial waste that we collect from our customers. RETAL produces transparent and colored films, including black and metallized, and though there has been a tendency for thermoforming customers to prefer transparent films to colored and metallised, now RETAL can help with their post industrial waste to be processed it into food-grade films. It is crucial to keep black rPET in the plastic packaging value chain as it allows for all colours of scrap to be mixed when reprocessed into rPET and promotes its use, so RETAL is delighted to be creating more circular black rPET film.”
RETAL’s Sustainability Director Emmanuel Duffault appreciates that this latest investment is another positive step in the company’s progressive position on developing and producing more sustainable and circular plastic packaging. Duffaut says, “By investing in new technology that can efficiently process up to 100% rPET flakes and by improving the recyclability of our products using non-carbon black masterbatch, we are further illustrating our commitment to providing thermoformers and brand owners with plastic packaging that combines convenience with sustainability.”