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First food grade R-PET sheet production line at Lithuania

Source:MEAF Release Date:2024-02-12 172
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MEAF Machines has recently installed the first R-PET extrusion line for the production of meat packaging at Pack Klaipėda UAB in Klaipėda, 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 R-PET extrusion line combining the two has recently been installed at Pack Klaipėda UAB in Klaipėda, Lithuania, for the production of meat packaging. The line is also suited for the production of PP trays without alterations, providing the customer with even more flexibility.


Founded some 12 years ago, Pack Klaipėda UAB initially focused on expanded PS containers for takeaway food. However, three years ago the company decided to move into other food packaging, notably for meat and poultry. “We looked at several potential suppliers, but found MEAF to have the same output at a much smaller footprint than competitors’ offerings,” says Darius Kontrimas, CTO at Pack Klaipėda. “Because of rising energy costs, energy efficiency was high on our list and MEAF’s machines are probably best in class when it comes to that. Once we made our decision, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of support we received. Being new in the sheet extrusion business, we had tons of questions. MEAF answered all of them and provided us with all the info we needed and more,” he concludes.


“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,” says 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.


Roald continues: “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.“

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