PET Thermoform recycling needs an integrated approach

PET Thermoform Recycling

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Polyethylene-Terephthalate or PET Thermoform Recycling is the process of reusing the already molded and trimmed plied plastic sheets.

Conglomerated Efforts

  • On July 9, The Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) in its press release emphasized the collaborated study-agenda of Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) to have a detailed understanding of the PET thermoform recycling spree and lay down the most profitable mechanism and empirical ways for rebuilding it.
  • Plastics generally used in the packaging category comprise cups, clamshells, bowls, and another take-out packaging. PET plastic resin coded non-bottle packaging is essentially reusable with PET bottles though not all thermoforms are PET.
  • The FPI Group consisted of Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), The Recycling Partnership and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC).
  • Natha Dempsey, president of FPI, explained, “Every partner is dedicated and functioning to enhance the recycling of PET thermoforms in numerous ways, so it’s crucial to group parties jointly to get a solution”. Further added, “While we’re putting together efforts to achieve growth, it is relevant to integrate endeavors to establish a unified path to heightened recyclability for PET thermoforms.”

Overcoming recycling challenges

  • PET thermoform recycling rose substantially in the US and Canada since 2011. The most part of the thermoforms that presently get recycled are contained in PET container bales. The PET reclaimers find it irrelevant to include a high proportion of thermoforms. Another big obstacle with thermoforms is tricky labels, non-PET similar-looking packaging, and large quantities of particles getting produced during the recycling process.
  • However, specialized and technical material type reclaimers are available. Green Impact Plastics’ plant appearing on-line in the Vernon, Calif will point on recycling PET thermoforming and thermoforms manufacturer Direct Pack Inc. has begun seizing in thermoform bales at a recycling facility in Guadalajara, Mexic.
  • If its decision to put in PET thermoforms to your recycling program or pivoting them to domestic PET market from a mixed plastic bale, keep in mind the following points:
  • InquiringPET buyers about accepting mixed bottle/thermoform bales and percentage proportion.
  • Prior to segregating market PET thermoforms, carry out reasonable categorizing methods to reduce contamination and maximize quality.
  • Adoption of best practices code and fulfilling the needs of domestic buyers by ensuring clean, high-quality PET bottle bales mixed with a specified percentage of PET thermoforms.
  • The How2Recycle initiative, a part of the GreenBlue non-profit community, along with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), through a collaborative study, downsized their recyclability mark for non-bottle rigid PET packaging throughout this year. The tags indicate “test locally”, as a comparison to the “widely recycled” sticker that would formerly be used on non-bottle qualified rigid PET containers.
  • This transition was formulated consequently upon program managers’ audits and findings under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards.


The recycling of PET Thermoform through collaborated efforts will surely result in achieving a path-breaking approach to achieve sustainable goals by overcoming the few momentary challenges.

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