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  • Rights: Flight Plastics
    Published 12 October 2017 Referencing Hub media

    The only PET recycling plant in New Zealand, Flight Plastics sorts, washes and granulates plastic bottles and packaging to recover PET plastic to be reused in new food-grade packaging


    Have you ever wondered what happens to your recycling when you put it out for collection?

    Let’s see what happens when you are finished using a PET bottle. Depending on where you live, you can either put your PET bottle in your recycling bin or drop it at your nearest recycling centre. A collection truck picks up your recyclables and takes them to a materials recovery facility where all the PET plastic gets separated and baled.

    At Flight, the PET bottles and containers are loaded onto the conveyer in the new wash plant. In just over 30 minutes, the bottle is washed, granulated and made into recycled PET flakes. The new plant can process thousands of bottles every day.

    Once the RPET flakes have been checked for quality, they are ready to continue through the Flight manufacturing plant. The RPET flakes, which have come from the PET drinks bottles and other containers recycled around New Zealand, now replace the majority of virgin or new PET in Flight’s state-of-the-art, high-tech PET extrusion line.

    In this process, every roll of RPET film is made in three layers. The middle layer of the sheet contains the RPET, but the outer layer on each side is actually a thin layer of brand-new virgin PET. Having new PET on both sides of the sheet adds an extra level of food safety, ensuring the food contact surfaces of the final product will be no different than a product made entirely from new PET. The newly made rolls of RPET film then continue into Flight’s latest-technology thermoforming lines to complete their conversion into new RPET containers.

    The containers are shipped to some of New Zealand’s most iconic brands, being filled with fruit, biscuits, salads, meat or poultry.

    Every PET bottle or container recycled at Flight is given a new life, saving the imported materials and reducing waste to landfill. Flight containers are 100% recyclable, so when you put them out for recycling, the circle will continue.


    Video courtesy of Flight Plastics. © Flight Plastics.

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