Innovation insight – Evertis

Squaring the circle for PET trays

Evertis is a modern-day success story, especially when it comes to PET tray packaging. For it not only plays a crucial role in food preservation, both in terms of safety and hygiene, but also in the minimising of food waste. This makes it today’s material of choice in terms of circularity. When it comes to the circular economy, Evertis, is the leading global supplier of PET-based films, and the one that sets the industry standard.  

Pioneering the incorporation of recycled content in their films for the food packaging industry since their foundation in 1959, and with the establishment of their own recycling unit in 2003, Evertis have been giving their customers the option of offering more environmentally friendly products long before there was any directives or targets in place. Evertis currently target an average incorporation of 50% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled content in their films.

Extending tray life

Evertis give post-industrial and post-consumer multilayer trays a new life, thus proving that a circular economy for trays can be a reality. The firm’s partnership with a company that has a unique technology that permits incorporating recycled PET obtained from a delamination process of multilayer waste, means that it can be reintroduced as secondary raw material in their film production processes.

Evertis uses raw materials and production processes, such as water-based lamination, that allow the delamination of multilayer materials during the recycling process, so that they can be reincorporated back into their films. The Evertis film production process has an EREMA reactor which allows for up to 100% of recycled content to be included in their films for food contact applications with EFSA food contact approval.

Fully recyclable PET streams

The prominent levels of recycled content is not the only ambitious goal that Evertis has successfully achieved in terms of circularity, ‘Design for recycling’ is one of the top issues the company tackles together with their customers, as they view this as an opportunity to boost their film’s ability to close the loop.

To the company, ‘Eco-Design’ means the development and production of products that follow all legislation and regulations regarding food contact, whilst protecting and assuring the proprieties of the packaged product..

However, of extreme importance to Evertis is delivering packaging solutions that after usage, can be recycled and reincorporated once again into new materials. To Evertis, eco-design means a circular economy. 

In the last few years Evertis has focused on developing innovative solutions that are fully recyclable in the PET stream. Given the close collaboration with their sister-company Selenis, a producer of specialty polyester solutions, they have the possibility of developing resins with improved properties that can enhance the behavior and effectiveness of their films when compared with standard solutions.    

Their ECOSEALTM film, produced with Selenis Bondz MM 510 TM resin, allows brand-owners to package their products in fully recyclable APET packaging trays, by replacing the usual PE layer with this specialty polyester, the need for a multilayer in the bottom web is eliminated. Furthermore, the ECOSEALTM film’s enhanced sealing properties are compatible with universal sealing lidding films, ideal for Form-Fill-Seal packaging. 

Other fully recyclable solutions that Evertis has recently launched are their IR BLACKTM films, formulated with an NIR Black masterbatch that is detectable by the current sorting technology in recycling processes. This new development is a sustainable alternative that is carbon-black-free, thus improving the recyclability of the material and the final packaging.

All this is good news from SPN’s perspective, as well as for all companies that are planning to meet the30% requirement for recyclable films and are dedicated to the circular economy. When it comes to FMCG packaging in particular, Evertis appears to have “Squared the Circle” for PET trays.