The founder of one of North America's largest disposable plastic cutlery makers has extended his industrial activities into PET bottle recycling.
Petall SA de CV of Mexico City is hot washing PET bottles into flake, using Italian technology. Norman Wright, founder of cutlery injection molder Xactico SA de CV, set up the Petall recycling operation two years ago, but the plant did not reach serious production until December, when capacity hit 1,500 pounds per hour.
Wright will not reveal the Italian technology firm's name, saying, ``We prefer this information to remain confidential.''
By late March, Petall had increased its output to 1,600 pounds per hour.
``Yearly production will be 15 million pounds of washed flake when fully up and running by June,'' Wright said.
By that time, Wright expects to have invested $2.5 million in the operation, located in Nicol s Romero, bordering Mexico City.
Petall's hot-washed flake varies in quality, from less than 50 parts per million of PVC to an inferior quality, he said.
``Fines can be removed by vacuum to ensure quality if required,'' he said. Fines are the result of the wash, a small percentage of powder residue like talcum powder.
The final washing process uses potable water treated by ozone osmosis, Wright said. ``Water consumption is reduced considerably as most of it, about 70 percent, is treated and recycled.''
About 40 percent of the flake is available for export to the United States, Wright said.
Xactico owns a warehouse and distribution center near Houston, Wow Plastics Inc., with annual sales of about $8 million. Wow's partners will use some of the PET flake, enabling Xactico to lower its raw material costs for many products it already manufactures into sheet and thermoformed containers, he said. ``The rest will be available for sale.''
The company, which employs 60, has bought a flat-bed trailer truck to transport baled bottles or flake in supersacks.