European converter of PET preforms and bottles APPE receives kudos from Greener Package for its pioneering initiatives in rPET production, 100% remanufacture of the material into packaging applications
August 1, 2011
– APPE, Europe’s leading convertor and manufacturer of PET preforms and bottles, has underlined its excellent environmental record by winning the ‘Beyond the Package’ category of the Greener Package Awards for the company’s pioneering initiatives in recycled PET production and the 100% remanufacture of the material into packaging applications.
Part of the Greener Package website (www.greenerpackage.com), which also includes a comprehensive product database with detailed environmental data, discussion groups and a news blog, the awards are the first independent global competition focused on packaging sustainability, judged by a panel of industry experts.
The ‘Beyond the Package’ award is aimed at companies with packaging initiatives or processes that contribute to sustainability by going beyond the development of an individual package.
APPE is the packaging division of LSB, which also owns Artenius PET, Europe’s leading PET resin producer. The group produces virgin resin, manufactures preforms and bottles, recycles PET and incorporates the rPET back into bottles, offering a full ‘cradle to grave’ capability and being uniquely positioned to provide a full and accurate assessment of the environmental impact of its processes and products.
A major part of its sustainability offering is the company’s closed-loop bottle-to-bottle PET recycling plant in Beaune, France. Established in 1998, APPE’s Beaune facility has led the market in the production of food-grade recycled PET. In 2008, the company foresaw the increased demand for rPET and launched an expansion project to increase capacity for food-grade material from 25,000 to 35,000 tonnes, which has made Beaune the largest food-grade rPET producer in Europe.
The increased capacity means that around an additional 720 million 25g PET bottles are being recycled every year, while overall the plant prevents 1.8 billion bottles annually from going to landfill. The extra 10,000 tonnes will make 400 million bottles in 100% rPET or 1.6 billion bottles containing 25% rPET, which is the current ratio preferred by most leading beverage manufacturers. The 35,000 tonnes total capacity of the Beaune plant represents a reduction of 12,145 tonnes of Carbon equivalent – 44,572 CO2 equivalent – over the production and use of virgin resin.
100% of Beaune’s output goes into new bottles, which extends the life of PET within a closed-loop system and means the material can be recycled many times over. This compares to the European average of recycled output going back to bottles, which is just 22% (source PTI/Petcore) with the remainder going to other applications such as strapping and fibres where it is recycled only once.
The Beaune plant also incorporates a preform manufacturing facility, enabling some of the material to be converted on site for local customers and reducing the overall environmental impact of transportation to other APPE facilities.
Greener Package Awards judge Frank Perkowski of Business Development Advisory described the APPE initiative as “an optimal sustainability programme”, while Dean Bellefluer of D-Idea commented: “Working with the PET bottling issue is commendable, top marks for this one.”
In addition to its activities at Beaune, APPE’s comprehensive company-wide sustainability policy includes long-established energy and water reduction programmes and a ‘zero to landfill’ waste target. The company works closely with customers to reduce the environmental impact of its products, for example through lightweighting, and also offers a Carbon Footprint service to help customers assess and compare the overall impact of their PET packaging.
“We are delighted to receive the Greener Package Award accolade,” comments Martin Hargreaves, APPE’s General Manager. “Over the years, we have consistently demonstrated our commitment to environmental responsibility in many different ways, including our pioneering work in the production of food-grade rPET and its direct remanufacture into packaging, and the development and subsequent expansion of our Beaune plant. All of this clearly showcases the major role recycled PET can play in an effective sustainability programme.
“The award is a fitting independent endorsement of our achievements to date.”