Utilization of recycled PET
Against the background of the responsibility for the industry producing food stuffs and the guarantee of the product safety within the scope of our declaration of conformity, we only make use of re-granulates. Basic materials are PET bottles taken from deposit systems which have a very high degree of purity and are retraceable back to the bale. Through this requirement, it is likewise secured that bottles are used which were manufactured for the contact with food stuffs. During the following treatment, the bottles are sorted, chopped and cleaned. In the subsequent super-clean process, the volatile migrants are eliminated by means of the parameters of pressure, temperature, residence time. During the re-granulation, the molten mass is additionally filtered.
The re-granulates nearly correspond to virgin PET as to their quality. The essential criterion of selecting our suppliers is a continuous control of the processes during which the degree of purity is permanently monitored and the production charges are regularly examined. Ultimately, all certifications are solely based on procedures applying a challenge test with a defined input material, but not on an industrial treatment in continuity.
The utilization of food-grade flakes is in good order as far as it is considered in terms of the adjective law. But that does not help you in any way when chemical contaminations are found in your product. The risk of such chemical contaminations is demonstrably higher to a considerable extent. These are in detail:
a) Macroscopic extraneous materials
Macroscopic extraneous materials such as polymers having a high melting point or containing metal particles are eliminated by filtering the molten mass upon re-granulating it. In the food-flake, a comparable separation does not take place, i.e. these particles remain in the recyclate.
b) Migrated extraneous materials:
In case of contaminations of the PET bottles, e.g. improper use as storage containers for agricultural pesticides, machine oils or others, these substances, which are in most cases poisonous, migrate into the wall of the PET bottle. That means that these substances are contained in the flake. Procedures for producing food-grade flakes which are merely based on eliminating PET material from the surface are not in a position to eliminate deeply migrated hazardous substances. That means that all impurities which migrate into the bottle wall more than a few µm deep remain in the recyclate and can then be detected in the packaging material, too.
As a conclusion, it has to be stated that there are considerably more extraneous substances in the food-grade flakes than in the PET regranulate. Which substances are concerned, whether they are hazardous and what their migration behaviour is like, will have to be examined by you as the manufacturer of packaging materials since you assume the full responsibility as the distributor and since you can only supply evidence in this manner that you have taken all necessary measures of securing your product. So much the more important is your decision whom to qualify as your supplier in the end.
For these reasons, we exclusively recommend to apply R-PET Superclean Regranulate for the contact with food stuffs for which we provide you with all required certifications according to the EU Food Law.
For the ongoing processing in our premises there are additional decontamination stations in our extruders. Furthermore, we have the manufactured films regularly tested by Innoform and the Fraunhofer Institute by means of a migration screening.
On account of the expensive treatment, the prices for regranulate amount to the level of virgin material.