Processing PET: what’s new?

SIBUR and Alfatechform have held a training workshop on recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Plastic waste recycling is one of today's most relevant topics. SIBUR is actively engaged in various projects to scale up polymer recycling, while also running its own initiatives.

Alfatechform – Russia's leading manufacturer of PET preforms used for blow molding of plastic bottles, with an output of over one billion preforms per year. The company also produces more than 200 various items of household chemicals and cosmetics.

On 10–11 April, Klimovsk facility of Alfatechform, SIBUR’s customer, hosted the workshop on how to manufacture preforms blown into plastic bottles.

The event that combined both lectures and hands-on training was attended by product development and technical support experts fr om SIBUR's Plastics, Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division, and employees of POLIEF, SIBUR-PETF and NIOST production sites.

Other attendees were production employees from Alfatechform and engineers from the Centre of Competencies in Injection Moulding Machinery of the Swiss company Netstal.

The latter shared with SIBUR the PET preform production technology along with in-house innovations and solutions.

For example, multi-layer injection molding makes it possible to produce opaque PET bottles that help extend the shelf life of their contents (e.g. dairy products).

The participants also discussed global trends in PET packaging and its prospects. Packaging made of polyethylene terephthalate has significant advantages over the aluminium or glass alternatives due to its light weight and durability.

Molded preforms for PET bottles.

Netstal – one of the world's leading suppliers of high-precision plastic injection molding machines. Its solutions are used in the beverage, packaging and medical industries.

The use of lightweight PET containers brings down transportation costs. According to the participants, the beverage industry wh ere the share of PET preforms stands at around 80% is focusing on the preservation of contents and reduction of logistics and preform design costs.

Going forward, the role of packaging in consumer marketing will keep increasing.

Another promising area, according to the experts, is green and sustainable packaging from recyclable and durable materials that is set to minimise environmental damage.

“This is our first experience of staging a trilateral event that brought together a feedstock producer, a manufacturer of equipment for feedstock processing and a processor itself,” said Valery Tokarev, Product Development and Technical Support Manager from SIBUR's Plastics, Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division.

“In addition to the fundamental knowledge in producing PET preforms, we have gained an insight into advanced solutions and technologies offered by the equipment manufacturer, global trends in PET packaging, and PET properties to be in demand going forward.”

PET recycling workshop participants.

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