After a three-year wait, Pure Tech Plastics has approval to sell post-consumer PET for food packaging.
On Oct. 2, the Tekni-Plex Inc. unit joined an elite group of recyclers with nonobjection letters from the Food and Drug Administration to use post-consumer PET in direct contact with food.
``This expands our markets and gets us into new applications,'' William Walkowiak, Tekni-Plex treasurer said. ``This is also a financial incentive to recycle. It is good for the industry and the Pure Tech recycling division.''
The firm's technology will allow beverage bottles to be recycled back into beverage bottles.
Pure Tech initially filed for FDA approval in September 1995. Company officials said the process, and the wait, was typical of what recyclers have to go through to get the coveted non-objection letter.
``This has been an almost three-year process of review and scrutiny by the FDA, and results are most gratifying,'' said George Smilow, general manager of Pure Tech Plastics. ``We are committed to environmentally responsible recycling and there is no better way to insure progress toward that goal than by opening new markets for recycled materials.''
The firm said all of the PET flake from Pure Tech's East Farmingdale, N.Y., plant can be used in food-contact packaging. Pure Tech produced more than 60 million pounds of post-consumer flake for the year ended July 3. Walkowiak said more than half that comes from East Farmingdale, the firm's largest recycling plant.
Tekni-Plex placed No. 11 in Plastics News' ranking of North American recyclers and brokers with sales of $18.7 million for the year ended July 31, 1997.