Innovative cleaning solutions for PET recycling processes - Up to 20 percent less energy consumption, wastewater and costs

450 years – that is how long it takes for a PET bottle to decompose and sink to the bottom of the ocean in the form of microplastics. The amount of plastic produced worldwide has risen very sharply over the past nearly 70 years - to about 370 million metric tons in 2019. * Of this amount, only a portion is recycled and kept in the material cycle. In mechanical recycling, plastic waste is shredded, melted, and used as recyclate to make new products. However, due to different types of plastics, these mixed plastics are not suitable for many recyclings.

To help mitigate the issue and prevent waste generation, much focus is needed in the development of environmentally friendly recycling processes. Taking a „circular economy“ approach, where production systems are designed in the form of closed loops, it can support the reduction of CO2 emissions from industrial processes and production chains. An example in practice is the "bottle-to-bottle" process in which a producer takes back products and repurposes them for new products. This reduces waste, lowers emissions, energy and material losses.

Tailored solutions for PET recycling processes

The Surface Treatment global business unit of BASF's Coatings division, which operates under the Chemetall brand, is addressing this challenge by developing solutions for sustainable cleaning processes for recycling plastic waste.

Chemetall offers proven expertise in the field of PET recycling. Our customized solutions for plants, and integrated cleaning agents improve the quality, productivity and safety of PET recycling processes. Our product range of cleaning solutions, wetting agents and defoamers covers the entire washing and wastewater treatment process for PET and complies with the strictest quality regulations. Gardoclean®, Gardobond® additives, Gardo® Pure and Gardofloc® are excellent technologies for washing and wastewater treatment processes.

The crucial aspects of the PET recycling process include product quality for cleaning the plastics and wastewater treatment. The synergies between these processes determine the quality of the PET flake output, energy and resource consumption of the plant, and environmental impact of the recycling process. Thus, a modern PET recycling system must efficiently clean mixed input quality while meeting increasing recyclate requirements.

Dedicated experts and services

Chemetall technologies are compatible with food industry standards, suitable for multilayer packaging films such as LDPE, HDPE and remove all types of adhesives effectively and efficiently. Our team of experts supports customers in the selection, application and cost-saving design of recycling processes.

For further information on Chemetall’s technologies for PET-Recycling process, please click on our brochure in the right column.

Together with BASF, Chemetall is working to efficiently close material loops and support sustainable value chains overall. Klick here to learn more on BASF’s circular economy program.

*Source: Plastics production worldwide and in Europe until 2018 | Statista

Contact us:

Carlo Bouwmeester, Global Segment Manager Plastics

Global Key Industry Manager Automotive Components Plastic Fascia and Paint coagulation

Chemetall GmbH, Trakehner Strasse 3, 60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Mobile: +49 162 2955507, Email: