Packaging product file

Printed PET bottles can be recycled

By Rick Pendrous contact

- Last updated on GMT

Printed PET bottles can be recycled

Related tags: Printing, Recycling, Polyethylene terephthalate

A process for making recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles onto which designs have been digitally printed has been developed by KHS and its subsidiary NMP Systems.

It is the second sustainable innovation from KHS to be certified by the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP).

Until recently, printed bottles were difficult to recycle, claims KHS. However, the Direct Print Powered by KHS has overcome this obstacle.

PET bottles processed by this technology are said not to have a negative impact on the recycled PET and are officially approved by EPBP for bottle-to-bottle recycling.

‘Washing water must not be contaminated’

“The washing water must not be contaminated during the recycling process,”​ says Martin Schach, head of the printing technology at KHS. “The ink must also not deposit itself on the crushed PET bottles.”

KHS’s digital printing process with low-migration, LED ultraviolet-curing inks for the food-safe decoration of PET bottles results in print flaking off during recycling.

Laboratory tests for the Belgian market, in which printed PET bottles from brewer Martens were recycled and then examined for chemical residues in random checks, confirmed the safeness of the process.

“Costs for production will fall in the long term as there’s no longer any need for labels and the storage thereof and no more adhesive is needed,”​ suggests Schach.

Contact KHS​ for more information. 

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