Another Milestone in the Upcycling of PET Bottles

We’ve increased the share of Yellow Bag material in our Frosch bottles to 75%!

Werner & Mertz and its cooperation partner ALPLA in the Recyclate Initiative have again scored a success for the genuine circular economy. Together we have increased the share of rPET from the Yellow Bag to 75 percent in our proven Frosch PET bottles of 100 percent recycled plastic.

Climate-friendly recycling works

As a recycling pioneer, we are advancing the technological exploitation of material from the Yellow Bag for high-quality packaging. More than four million PET bottles with the increased share of 75 percent Yellow Bag material have been placed in the market (as of December 2023). Once again we prove the feasibility of our approach that puts used plastic from post-consumer waste collections through high-quality mechanical reprocessing, reuses it and keeps recycled plastic in a closed loop. The remaining share of recyclate comes from European deposit bottles whose normal wear-and-tear excludes them from another refilling.

This innovation shows that climate-friendly recycling works! The mechanical processing and reuse of plastic consumes less energy and avoids CO2 emissions.

Technological progress and extensive knowledge make innovation possible

Thanks to the familiar high quality and unaltered look of the bottle, consumers do not see a difference. The step up to 75 percent was made possible by a state-of-the-art sorting facility and knowledge acquired from continuous monitoring of the delivered PET bales in the recycling plant.

ALPLArecycling was able to increase sorting efficiency with ultra modern software and computer technology which allow more precise sorting at higher speed. Packaging experts from Werner & Mertz examine the bales of used plastic delivered to the recycling plant.  At regular intervals on site, they analyze the materials and their quality in PET bales awaiting recycling. Knowledge of this particular waste stream goes into process development.

Successful Cooperation

With yet another increase in the share from household waste collections, Werner & Mertz and ALPLA continue the success story of their cooperation. The Recyclate Initiative was launched back in 2012 by Werner & Mertz, together with ALPLA and other cooperation partners from the entire value chain. Committed to using Post-Consumer Recyclate (PCR), the Initiative partners say that used plastic (Post-Consumer Recyclate or PCR) from household waste collections should be utilized as input material, reprocessed after use, re-used as recycled and recyclable material, and thereby kept in a closed loop. In 2014 the initiative succeeded in producing PET bottles for the well-known Frosch brand from 100 percent PCR, 20 percent of which came from the Yellow Bag. In February 2021 the next increase to 50 percent followed and in 2023 the share reached 75 percent.