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Making PET recycling a little easier

Ezra van den Bosch | 24-09-2021

In order to achieve the European climate goals of 2030, industry and society will have to become more independent from fossil fuels. Today, however, almost all food packaging is still made from fossil based resources. This is a shame because we could reuse so much more of the plastic that is already in circulation.

Recycling makes us less dependent on fossil fuels
A large part of plastic waste is currently still incinerated or recycled to low-value applications. However, to be less dependent on raw fossil based resources, we should reuse more of these materials.
MEAF develops, produces and sells extruders and is a specialist in extruding plastic into usable films. Extrusion is a process in which plastic particles are fused and formed into a new product such as the plastic film in which, for example, the fresh salami for your homemade pizza could be packaged.

Making sustainable recycling technology more accessible
Innofunding has guided MEAF in its subsidy projects for the Demonstration Energy and Climate Innovation + Circular Economy (DEI + CE). MEAF has developed an extruder that can handle recycled post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in a smart and efficient way. That is the type of plastic from which almost all small and large beverage bottles are currently made. Post-consumer means that the waste stream has been used by consumers and then ground into flakes.

Normally, PET plastic first goes to a large recycling company that upgrades the plastic and makes it food-grade after which it can be processed. MEAF's innovative extruder can transform the recycled PET flakes into foil without having to make plastic granules from it first. The MEAF extruder can skip this step thanks to, among other things, an innovative combination of infrared heating to dry and clean the plastic and a faster throughput of the PET flakes without increasing the diameter of the screw. As a result, fewer large motors are needed and energy consumption is lower.

Thanks to the efficiency and the relatively small format of the extruder, MEAF makes it more accessible for companies to produce sustainable PET products, so that small and medium-sized companies can get started faster. This gives us more speed in the transition to a fossil-free society.

Also see (in Dutch):
Website MEAF 
Article RVO 
Youtube channel MEAF 

The pilot project was carried out with a subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, National EZ subsidies and Topsector Energy, carried out by Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland