In view of the increasingly efficient waste incineration plants that generate electricity and heat from waste, the question arises whether the effort involved in PET recycling is still worthwhile. The answer is clearly yes, as the latest life cycle assessment proves.
If the PET beverage bottles are incinerated with household waste, the waste incineration plants (KVAs) generate electricity and / or heat. However, what sounds like a good solution is much less environmentally friendly than if the PET beverage bottles are recycled.
Carbotech AG, a company specializing in environmental consulting, has once again confirmed this in its latest eco-balance: "Because the PET recycling system recycles 81% of PET beverage bottles and only 19% burns, this reduces the climate-damaging greenhouse gases by around 124 ' 000 tons a year, ”explains Thomas Kägi, project manager at Carbotech AG. “We took all recycling processes into consideration. From the production of the collecting containers, to the transport and the energy consumption of the machines. » The savings from PET recycling thus correspond approximately to the annual greenhouse gas volume of all households in the canton of Schaffhausen. The PET recycling system thus actively contributes to climate protection.
PET beverage bottles become PET beverage bottles
The high recycling rate and efficient collection and transport logistics certainly contribute to a better ecological balance. It is also important that the Swiss PET recycling system is a closed material cycle - which means nothing other than that new food-grade bottles are continually being produced from the recycled PET beverage bottles. This is in contrast to thermal recycling (incineration in the incineration plant), where after the incineration with subsequent electricity and / or heat production is the end station. After that, the production of the PET beverage bottles has to start all over again, for which new oil and natural gas must of course be used.
Article Source SWISS RECYCLING MAGAZIN Nr. 5 | May 2014