MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand’s Suntory PepsiCo Beverage Co commenced the use of locally produced recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) for its beverage bottle packaging, said Suntorypepsico.
The company announced in end-March that it will produce 100% R-PET bottles soon in line with its sustainability targets. Previously, the use of R-PET for food or bottle applications was banned in Thailand due to safety concerns.
However, the country allowed the use of R-PET for food applications since June 2022 which prompted local recyclers to apply for supply permits. Only the joint venture between PTT and Alpla under the entity Envicco was able to secure the permit in March.
Other major recyclers in Thailand which include EcoBlue and Indorama continue to wait for the approval of supply permits. Approvals of the local supply permits are issued by the Thai FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Thailand’s move to allow the use of R-PET for food packaging was welcomed by recyclers as it would help bolster the trade of recycled polymers in general.
Although the regulation is solely applicable to R-PET, with no plans announced on recycled polyethylene (R-PE) and recycled polypropylene (R-PP) yet, overall market sentiment is bullish on the steady uptake of recyclates in the coming years.
Thailand remains as one of the top producers and consumers of virgin plastics in Asia and its shift towards sustainable materials is expected to significantly impact both virgin and recycled polymers demand outlook. In May 2022, Taiwan passed a similar legislation to allow the use of R-PET for food application and most major recyclers in the market have clinched supply licenses.
With the opening of domestic market for food-grade R-PET in both Thailand and Taiwan, export volumes are not seen to dwindle due to separate allocations between domestic and overseas buyers.
We remind, Taiwanese regulators have recently granted supply licences to major producers of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) for food-grade applications in the domestic market. Far Eastern New Century, the biggest R-PET exporter in Asia, received its local supply license from Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare in December 2022.