PET Recycling - The Solution

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a thermoplastic widely used across the world. PET is prized for its thermo-stability and can be recycled up to 7 times before thermal degradation will undermine its crystalline structure. This stability has made PET the most recycled plastic in the world today, with 92% of local councils in the UK collecting PET for recycling.

With the coming introduction of the “Plastics Tax”, there will be a huge incentive for plastic producers to utilise more recycled plastics in their products. The proposed tax will be applied to every product made from plastic that contains less than 30% of recycled polymer. This shift in government legislation is set to improve the market for recycled granulate considerably.

This is a huge win for both the environment and the recycling industry as a whole. At Rotajet we have seen a huge increase in the demand for efficient and robust plastic washing and separation technologies. We currently have standard lines, varying in capacity between 500 kg to 3 metric tonnes per hour. Below is a breakdown of a standard PET recycling line into its constituent process stages.

lead acid battery recycling plant

The Process of Recycling Film

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Feed Hopper

Feed hopper used in plastic recycling

Pre Washer

PW75 plastic prewasher for removing heavy contamination

Separation

sink float tank to separate plastics during recycling

Granulator

Plastic Granulator

Drying

horizontal plastic dryer side view

Bagging off

Double bagging station with zigzag separator
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RJ-FH12-TW Material is loaded in batches into a Rotajet feed hopper, which is fitted with an inverter-driven screw to provide consistent feed to the plant. This multi-screw system avoids bridging and blockages remotely, by adjusting the direction and speed of the screw augers; reducing machine downtime and improving your overall throughput rate.

RJ-PWS-75 The material is fed from the hopper into the Rotajet pre-washer to remove the majority of the contamination. This efficient incline plastic washer is fitted with inline filtration and automatic chemical dosing.

RJ-HKS-50 A Rotajet sink-float tank is then used to separate the PET from contaminants such as PP, PE, paper, wood and others. The floating fraction is screwed to bagging off for disposal whilst the sinking fraction is transferred into the next stage.

RJ-GR This powerful wet granulator ensures an even particle size so your final product is suitable for resale into the market. Durable and efficient, our granulators are completely welded and have a heavy steel construction making them capable of withstanding the most demanding requirements present in the industry.

RJ-MD-55This horizontal mechanical dryer is the most efficient way of dewatering granulated and shredded plastics. Our mechanical dryers can reduce moisture levels for rigid plastics down to around 1%. The machine is fitted with a rotor which rotates at high speed (approx. 1450rpm). To ensure our dryers are simple to maintain, the rotor is fitted with easy-to-change wear paddles manufactured from D2 steel.

RJ-DB-ZZFinally, a zig-zag separator is used to remove any remaining fines, ensuring a product quality suitable for extrusion.

To get advice about how this system can be installed at your facility, get in touch with our technical team on the link below and we will be in touch.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET & PETE)

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) is a thermoplastic polymer resin made by the fusion of monomers: purified terephthalic acid and modified ethylene glycol. As a member of the polyester family, 60% PET is used to make strong, lightweight synthetic fibres for materials such
as; clothing and fabrics.
Other common uses of PET include:
  • Cosmetic containers
  • Drinks bottles
  • Prepared food/salad trays
  • Edible oils
  • Mouthwash bottles
Recycling post-consumer PET can be extremely lucrative, especially due to its prominence for use in plastic packaging. With other factors like the government-implemented Plastics Tax coming into play, PET is fast becoming one of the most recycled plastic types in the world. Like HDPE, PET is picked up by most curbside recycling programs, and is recycled at a rate of up to 30%.
Whilst these statistics are impressive and represent a huge improvement on previous years, there is still a considerable amount of potential that is yet to be tapped into when it comes to recycling PET. For example, 56% of recycled PET is used for making clothes and carpets as an alternative to other virgin material; a turnaround which can be achieved in as little as 30 days.
 
On top of this, recycling PET items uses a considerable amount less energy than other alternative methods, with incineration using up to twice as much energy. As a highly cost efficient method of managing post-consumer PET, recycling also has numerous significant environmental benefits that are being brought to light now more than ever. With movements towards sustainability (as well as environmental laws) taking place globally, constraints on landfilling are making recycling PET look like the evermore desirable option.
 
Rotajet’s solutions to PET recycling offer a simple and hassle-free recycling post-consumer PET. With the necessary expertise and experience with managing different plastic types, Rotajet has taken the molecular structure of PET into careful consideration when designing each individual step in the recycling process

Contact Rotajet

We aim to get back to any enquiry within 12 hours, so please do contact us if you are interested in a specific machine or would like to discuss a cleaning requirement. Our friendly team are happy to help with email info@rotajet.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1924 271446.