Austria-based Starlinger has created a new completely closed loop woven plastic tape, which can be recycled and upcycled with minimal investment.

Made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) flakes, the new tape can be laminated with rPET fabric with reverse printed biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) film.    

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rPET fabric is manufactured using Starlinger decontamination technology and fulfils US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for use in food packaging. The newly developed tape was produced with technology used to manufacture woven plastic sacks made from rPET.

Starlinger's consumer bags division head Stéphane Soudais said: “Starlinger builds on decades of experience in woven polypropylene sack production, a type of packaging that is reusable and recyclable.

"With this material, producers of woven plastic packaging have the option of true closed loop production."

“Since 2013, we can produce PET tape fabric from virgin PET and recycled PET pellets on our machines, which can be used for a variety of packaging applications. Now we have achieved another breakthrough in working with recycled PET: we can produce rPET tapes directly from PET bottle flakes.

“With this material, producers of woven plastic packaging have the option of true closed loop production.”

The company also noted that the fabric can be converted to different types of woven sacks or used for technical applications, including carpet backing or geo-textiles. Packaging users who wish to shift to woven rPET sacks to fill their product will have to make little investment.

In addition, Starlinger has developed pinch bottom type bags, PP STAR, using polypropylene and its own machinery.

Suitable to pack sensitive products including dry pet food, the bags can also be produced directly from PET bottle flakes.

Image: PP STAR sacks made of rPET flakes by Starlinger. Photo: courtesy of Starlinger Group.