Japanese brewing and distilling company Suntory has developed FtoP Direct Recycle Technology for use in soft drink PET bottle preform production.
The technology has been developed in collaboration with Japanese recycled materials manufacturer Kyoei Industry; SIPA, an Italian manufacturer of beverage filling equipment such as preform bottle molding machinery and fillers; and Austria-based EREMA Group, a manufacturer of equipment such as plastic recycling machinery.
Initially, Kyoei Industry plans to manufacture preforms using the new technology at its undisclosed facility.
Suntory said that the FtoP Direct Recycle technology will be gradually introduced for part of Suntory Beverage & Food’s soft drink PET bottles starting in summer of 2018.
The firm, in a statement, said: “A technology in which “flake” created by pulverizing and washing recovered PET bottles is treated at high temperature and low pressure for a fixed period and that, after being melted and filtered, enables the preform to be manufactured directly.
“In order to form preforms of uniform quality, it is important to pour the melted flake into the molding machine at a constant pressure, and the development of this technology involved putting up actual facilities and verification over a protracted period of time.”
The new technology is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 25% compared to the previous setup, which required a large number of processes.
In 2011, Suntory and Kyoei Industry have developed Japan’s first bottle-to-bottle mechanical recycling system as part of their efforts to promote activities to reduce the environmental impact of PET bottle manufacturing.
In order to achieve further reductions in the environmental burden, the two firms partnered with two overseas equipment manufacturers SIPA and EREMA to develop the new FtoP Direct Recycle Technology.
Suntory said it has earlier developed PET bottles with a reduced environmental impact including the lightweight domestically manufactured PET bottle which comprise 30% of plant-based materials, as well as constructed a trial plant for PET bottles made using 100% plant-based materials.
Image: Illustration of FtoP molding machine. Photo: © SUNTORY HOLDINGS LIMITED.