Interesting new products continue to emerge in the “green” materials arena.
For example, OCTAL Petrochemicals of Plano, TX, has introduced a proprietary DPET sheet as a replacement for recycled PET (rPET) sheet for clear thermoformed packaging for food, dairy, and consumer product markets. OCTAL says that retailers have a new option to achieve their sustainability goals while also realizing major quality and performance improvements.
Here’s the argument:
The carbon footprint of DPET sheet is described as roughly the same as rPET blends with up to 50 percent recycle content, according to a study conducted by PIRA International, a consultancy based in the UK. In addition, DPET sheet can be reduced in gauge up to 12 percent compared to rPET, reducing packaging. Interestingly, OCTAL says that the waste generated from the sheet actually improves the quality of the PET recycling stream because it has the same properties as virgin resin (its properties have not been degraded by going through traditional extrusion methods).
OCTAL says that the biggest energy savings is derived from the integration of the two-reactor polymerization system and the sheet forming process, according to the PIRA study.
In the meantime, recycled PET is increasingly being used in other applications such as blow molded bottles.
The “D” in DPET stands for direct. The direct PET process bypasses the compacting, drying, and melting processes of traditional systems, thus eliminating the cost and heat history.
DPET pricing is affected by market and raw material pricing while pricing for PCR rPET fluctuates based on how post-consumer regrind/flake pricing fluctuates - oftentimes causing rPET to be more expensive than DPET due to the supply vs. demand for PCR content, according to the supplier.
Note: DPET is a trademark of OCTAL Petrochemicals.