PET to PET Recycling: previous year’s level maintained despite pandemic

PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH announces that more than 27,300 t of PET material passed through the company’s recycling loop in 2021. Despite Corona-related restrictions, processing volumes were maintained at a similar level to the previous year (2020: 28,200 t) and a 14% increase in sales was achieved.

2021 was another economically challenging year for the recycling industry. After a brief positive upswing, there was a dramatic shortage of materials on the raw material markets. Particularly in the PET beverage bottle cycle, collected and sorted PET bottle bales experienced unprecedented price development in the first half of the year. While raw material prices doubled and the high-quality recyclates made from them suddenly became more expensive, the price of virgin PET was at a very low level. The result: a drifting apart of the two price levels. In mid-2021, the price of food-grade PET recyclates was twice as high as that of virgin PET. Despite difficult conditions and thanks to a well-functioning bottle-to-bottle cycle in Austria, PET to PET was able to keep the processing volume of 27,300 t, which corresponds to around 1.1 billion PET bottles, constant compared to the previous year (2020: 28,200 t). “Even though the conditions were difficult, we were able to close 2021 well,” explains PET to PET managing director DI Christian Strasser, adding, “It is particularly pleasing that we were able to significantly increase sales volumes with a plus of 14% and thus reduce stockpiles built up during the pandemic period accordingly.”

Investments are planned for 2022: PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH wants to expand its property area by about 19,000 m² to create additional storage or handling space. In addition, the Austrian company, which already operates its facilities with 100% renewable energy, wants to supply them in future partly via its own photovoltaic system.

Last year, PET to PET worked intensively on its technical infrastructure at the Müllendorf site. Two large Multigon silos with two silo chambers are now used to store and prepare the intermediate product from the washing plant (washed flakes) for the subsequent food-grade processing step. The majority of the high-quality recyclates are provided loose in silo vehicles for transport. For efficient loading, a silo loading station was built and successfully commissioned.

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