PET tray-to-tray: Greiner Packaging processes material from yellow bags into beverage trays

Together with its partners, Greiner Packaging is taking yet another step towards a circular economy: In the future, Rauch brand beverages will also be presented in supermarkets in trays made of 70% PCR (post-consumer recycled) r-PET material.

  • In addition to bottles made from 100% r-PET, Rauch now also uses trays made from 70% recycled PET.
  • Tray-to-tray recycling decreases dependency on the PET bottle flow.
  • Waste from yellow bags is utilized as the basis for recycled trays.
  • The Greiner Packaging business unit Greiner Assistec, which specializes in producing customer-specific plastic parts, makes trays.
Source: Greiner Packaging

Supermarket shoppers are all familiar with them: practical trays from which beverage bottles can be removed quickly and easily. They allow for efficient, space-saving, and safe transport of bottles and save supermarket employees the time-consuming task of putting them on the shelves. Taking a further step towards sustainability, Rauch Fruchtsäfte will use beverage trays made of recycled material in the future – the new trays are made of 70% recycled PET.

Waste acquires new value.

Material taken from yellow bags is used for the beverage trays. During a project, it was proven that r-PET flakes can be produced from post-consumer material through thorough pre- and post-sorting followed by shredding and washing. A PET film (70% recycled material) from these flakes is subsequently extruded, which is then thermoformed into r-PET trays by the Greiner Packaging business unit Greiner Assistec. Regarding quality, the recycled trays are equal to beverage trays made of new material.

Rauch trays

Promoting independence from the PET bottle flow

The r-PET flakes are produced from input materials other than PET beverage bottles, such as cupstubs, and trays. The project thus shows that it is possible to establish alternative PET value flows. After all, to produce packaging from recycled PET, the plastics industry today mainly uses r-PET flakes obtained by recycling PET bottles. This “bottle flow” is already well-established. However, the potential for recycling other PET packaging from the yellow bag is not yet being exploited to any great extent. However, the aim is to establish corresponding recycling streams on a large scale in the future.

Creating beverage trays from r-PET material that does not come from the bottle flow is an excellent opportunity for us. On the one hand, it means we are focusing on a sustainable product. On the other hand, we are promoting a tray-to-tray cycle. As a beverage manufacturer, we are particularly keen to ensure that high-quality r-PET from the bottle flow is also available for producing new r-PET bottles and that alternative forms of packaging are used to manufacture other products.

Hanno Mandl, purchasing manager at Rauch Fruchtsäfte

r-PET tray for bottles

Success thanks to the expertise

Greiner Packaging can already reflect on many years of experience processing recycled PET for its packaging. In September 2022, the plastics expert announced the acquisition of a Serbian r-PET flakes recycler, which now operates under Greiner Recycling.

“By expanding a year ago, we sent a clear signal and underscored that we believe in the potential of r-PET for a sustainable future in the packaging industry. Even then, our clear goal was to drive recycling streams away from bottles. The project with Rauch Fruchtsäfte is just one step on this path, to be followed by many more.”

Peter Fessl, Director of Operations Recycling at Greiner Packaging

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