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What about RPETG?

Display Pack’s director of sales & marketing Marty Tidball discusses the differences between recycled PET (RPET) and recycled PETG (RPETG), a polyester copolymer that he says is commonly used inn its virgin state in pharmaceutical and medical packaging applications.

“There is no curbside recycling plan that we know of for PETG or frankly for any thermoformed plastic materials used in ‘nonbeverage’ container packaging. Nonbeverage plastic packaging materials are either incinerated or they go into landfills regardless of the SPI symbol,” says Tidball. “Our RPETG comes from post-manufacturing PETG scrap.” Display Pack sources its RPETG sheet from three companies in a closed loop system.

Why not RPET rather than RPETG?

Tidball says the biggest problem with RPET is that it is difficult to seal properly and has a tendency to become brittle after sealing. “RPETG has a better range of sealability than RPET,” Tidball adds.

“In fact, RPETG has the impact resistance of PVC, which is one of the major advantages of PVC.” Display Pack had provided the PVC packaging Hewlett-Packard used before.

One of RPETG’s greatest advantages may be that it permits the SPI #1 PETE recycling mark well recognized by consumers.

Tidball claims the material has slightly better clarity than the PVC it replaced for HP’s application. RPET/RPETG has a propensity to yellow over time after going through the recycling process, so a blue-tinted pigment is added to mask the yellow. The blue color can be a deterrent to some customers, Tidball says, but HP personnel felt the blue tint looked trendy and complemented the blue in its blue-dominant graphics design.

Tidball forecasts that Display Pack will use 3 million pounds (annually) of RPETG for HP’s effort. Tidball acknowledges that its sourcing is solid, but limited. “Unlike other polymers like PVC or RPET, RPETG supplies are limited and tougher to find,” he says. “We had to ‘dig’ to find channels to support this project.” Display Pack recycles its RPETG scrap back to the materials manufacturer.

See the main story that goes with this sidebar:HP Invents Eco-Friendly Pack

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