March 17, 2021

Innovative cleaning solutions for PET recycling processes: Up to 20 percent less energy consumption, wastewater and costs

March 17, 2021

The amount of plastic produced worldwide has risen very sharply over the past nearly 70 years – to about 370 million metric tons in 2019.* Of this amount, only a portion is recycled and kept in the material cycle. In mechanical recycling, plastic waste is shredded, melted, and used as recyclate to make new products. 

Hundreds of plastic water bottles compacted together at a recycling plant
The crucial aspects of the PET recycling process include product quality for cleaning the plastics and wastewater treatment.

To help mitigate the issue and prevent waste generation, much focus is needed in the development of environmentally friendly recycling processes. The Surface Treatment global business unit of BASF's Coatings division, which operates under the Chemetall brand, is addressing this challenge by developing solutions for sustainable cleaning processes for recycling plastic waste.

Chemetall offers proven expertise in the field of PET recycling. Our customized solutions for plants, and integrated cleaning agents improve the quality, productivity and safety of PET recycling processes. Our product range of cleaning solutions, wetting agents and defoamers covers the entire washing and wastewater treatment process for PET and complies with the strictest quality regulations. Gardoclean®Gardobond® additives, Gardo® Pure and Gardofloc® are excellent technologies for washing and wastewater treatment processes.

The crucial aspects of the PET recycling process include product quality for cleaning the plastics and wastewater treatment. The synergies between these processes determine the quality of the PET flake output, energy and resource consumption of the plant, and environmental impact of the recycling process. Thus, a modern PET recycling system must efficiently clean mixed input quality while meeting increasing recyclate requirements.

Chemetall technologies are compatible with food industry standards, suitable for multilayer packaging films such as LDPE, HDPE and remove all types of adhesives effectively and efficiently. Our team of experts supports customers in the selection, application and cost-saving design of recycling processes.

Together with BASF, Chemetall is working to efficiently close material loops and support sustainable value chains overall. 

*Source: Plastics production worldwide and in Europe until 2018 | Statista

Jessica Giordano
Global Marketing Communications Chemetall GmbH
Birgit Hellmann
Global Sustainability Communications
Last Update March 17, 2021