Meaf first rPET food sheet line in Lithuania

By mating its energy efficient sheet extrusion lines with Kreyenborg’s IR-Clean Super-Clean process for post-consumer recycled PET, Meaf Machines can now offer its customers a cost-effective alternative for the production of FDA/EFSA approved single layer PET food grade sheet. A first rPET extrusion line combining the two, has recently been installed at Pack Klaipėda in Klaipėda, Lithuania, to produce meat packaging. The line is also suited to produce PP trays without alterations, providing the customer with even more flexibility.

“This new line perfectly fits the current global trend to produce ever more with 100% Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) material such as bottle-flakes and works also with other thermoforming regrind,” said Roald de Bruijne, Sales Manager at Meaf. “However, the process needs to ensure that the cleaning and decontamination is properly done in order to adhere to the strict FDA/Efsa regulations. This requires processors to invest substantially in dedicated equipment to upgrade their sheet production. At Meaf we believe our affordable, energy-efficient and flexible solution allows our customers to make the transition to recycled material more easily.”

Kreyenborg’s IR-Clean is specifically designed as a cost-effective solution for the direct reprocessing of post-consumer PET flakes for food packaging, combining crystallization and drying in a single process. The system operates without vacuum technology and can be retrofitted on existing extrusion lines. The efficiency of the cleaning process has been verified by a Letter of Non-Objection from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while tests have shown compliance with the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) criteria for the use of recycled materials for direct food contact packaging.

“At Meaf we already have a good reputation for energy efficient, affordable and flexible extrusion machines. When it comes to the use of R-PET for packaging, bottle-to-bottle is relatively easy as the mechanical properties of the regrind are pretty stable. However, the tray-to-tray recycling process is a lot harder. We are therefore now working hard on the development of a compact unit for IV level increase that can be fully integrated in new and existing extrusion lines. This will further support customers in their transition toward true circularity,” Roald de Bruijne added.

Founded in 1947, Meaf designs, develops and builds extrusion machines for the global packaging, carpet-backing and plastics processing industry. The company is a “one-stop-shop” for extruders for a wide range of polymers and applications. Meaf’s success stems from a customer-centric, innovative and flexible approach, offering support in every stage of the production process. Company customers include manufacturers in the food packaging, disposables, medical applications and flooring sectors, as well as the automotive and aviation industry.