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German PET recycler installs new SSP reactor supplied by Starlinger
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:27.Nov.2020

During the COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020, BTB PET-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, a German PET recycler installed a new preheating unit and another Solid State Polycondensation (SSP) reactor supplied by Starlinger recycling technology.

 

The company is now operating 9 SSP reactors from Starlinger recycling technology. And each year, BTB processes approximately 20,000 tons of PET input material from the German bottle return system on a Starlinger recoSTAR PET 165 iV+ recycling line installed prior to the SSP reactors.

 

Andrzej Zajontz, one of BTB’s General Managers and in charge of all technical matters, explained why this is not as easy as it used to be, “Unfortunately, the beverage containers collected through the German container deposit system are not as well separated as before – in the reverse vending machines both clear and colored bottles are collected together, and that is how they are delivered. In addition, the input material contains other plastics as well as aluminium and tinplates. This creates a lot of extra work for us in pre-sorting as we use only clear PET bottles for our bottle-to-bottle process.”


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BTB installed a new preheating unit and another SSP reactor supplied by Starlinger recycling technology.


Due to this, BTB's most recent investments went – besides into said Starlinger machines – into improved sorting technology. The company separates the input material at the beginning of the treatment process and then sort the PET flakes again before extrusion to achieve very high pellet quality.

 

Also, BTB caters to regular customers who use the recycled PET for producing beverage bottles which are filled, sold and after usage collected in the region. From this input material BTB then again produces PET regranulate – an example for the sustainability of a regional closed packaging loop.

 

When asked how the COVID-19 crisis affected the business activities of BTB, Andrzej Zajontz replied, “Many of our customers produce food packaging and have been classified as essential businesses. Thus, we are operating also during the lockdown – of course under strict observation of the existent safety and hygienic measures.”

 

However, BTB currently faces the same problems like many other companies in the plastics recycling sector. “The low oil price is making things difficult for us – it impedes the sale of recycled materials” describes Andrzej Zajontz the situation. “For plastics recyclers it is very hard to find new customers at the moment. At least we can rely on our existing ones.”

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