For so long our main source of recycled PET (RPET) was manufactured by Continental companies. Their quality was superb and we were comfortable with their food contact credentials as dictated by Marks and Spencer and the European legislation. The recycling industries on the Continent, in my humble opinion, have been in advance of ours for quite some time and as a result the standard of their recyclate was extremely good which led to the manufacture of first class box grade RPET (Our industry does seem to be catching up now though!).
However I have felt for a while, that a source of box grade RPET closer to home was absolutely necessary (made from British plastic waste); Not only to protect our lines of supply in the event of a disorderly Brexit, but to also encourage our recycling industry to produce better quality recyclate and more of it. If we could play a small part in helping to increase the percentage of plastic waste recycled in the UK rather than overseas (over 60% of plastic waste is currently exported) then a valuable objective will have been achieved.
To facilitate this, Staeger have invested in machinery to allow us to use British RPET, made from British waste. In addition, a lot of know – how was invested in a British supplier to allow them to reach the required quality. Staeger were the first company in the world to extrude PET, prompted by the Swiss government, who had banned PVC for packaging in 1986. Staeger were also instrumental in developing box grade RPET. Now, no longer involved with extruding, they have still retained a lot of expertise in house. These hard fought skills were made available to the British Supplier to help them move from a Thermoforming grade RPET to Boxgrade RPET.
We are currently running our new machine on a double day shift!