Recycling of PET bottles
Vepa is firmly en route to a waste-free factory. In the series “Sustainable Solutions by Vepa” demonstrate how we innovate, think and above all act sustainably. We replace harmful resources with sustainable alternatives, manufacture under excellent working conditions, use local suppliers and think of solutions for our own waste. That is how we ensure that the trash bin stays empty. We also process plastic from third parties.
Problem or opportunity
Plastic soup is a generally acknowledged and massive problem. We believe that it is our duty to make a contribution and to fight together to solve the plastic problem. We do this by using as little plastic as possible and by recycling PET bottles and making new products from them.
Recycling of PET bottles
PET bottles are very suitable for recycling. A large part of the PET bottles in circulation is collected, cleaned and re-filled with soda or water. From a circular point of view that is obviously the preferred way. Part of the bottles becomes waste after use. Or worse, part of our environment.
From flake to fibre and granulate
To re-use PET bottles that end up in canals, the ocean or landfills, they must first be separated by colour. Then the bottles are cleaned and shredded. These shreds are called flakes and the flakes are processed to granulate and fibres. The granulate is used to make foam sheets that we use as a core for our Plastic Whale Circular Furniture tables. The fibres are made into recycled PET felt mats.
Felt mats as a basis for new products
The recycled PET felt is then supplied to the processor on large rolls. After the felt has been cut into the required size by the cutting machine, the felt is heated and pressed into the desired shape. No additional glue or other additives are used. A water jet cuts out the contour and the hole pattern. After which the component is ready for use. The cool thing about this material is that the pressed PET felt can be re-used after usage. No waste. Smart, right?
Research never stops
However, research never stops. We collaborate with other companies under the title Green Furniture Circle. Currently, we are testing the viability of an alternative for HPL and melamine as a top layer for sheet material, we are researching the possibility to make base boards from recycled steel waste and the options to make new sheet material from hemp or roadside grass. Positive developments with a beautiful and sustainable product as a result.