Japan Partnership for Circular Economy

Japan Partnership for Circular Economy


Development of Flake to Preform (F-to-P) Direct Recycling Technology for PET Bottles

[Company / organization] Suntory Holdings Limited Kyoei Industry

Members, their roles, and reasons for cooperation

Suntory Holdings, which owns the beverage manufacturer Suntory Beverage & Foodl, and Kyoei Industry, a recycled materials manufacturer involved in the recycling, processing and sale of synthetic resins, have been advancing activities to reduce the environmental impact of PET bottle production, including the development of the first bottle-to-bottle mechanical recycling system*1 by a Japanese beverage company in 2011. Aiming for further environmental impact reduction effects, we developed the Flake to Preform (F-to-P) Direct Recycling Technology in collaboration with overseas equipment manufacturers SIPA and EREMA in 2018. This reduces environmental impact and improves recycling efficiency by eliminating some processes in PET bottle recycling. This is the world's first technology of its kind.

*1One of the means used to recycle PET bottles. A method by which used PET bottles are pulverized and washed, then further treated under conditions of high temperature and low pressure for a fixed period of time in order to remove impurities from the recycled material

Time started (or to be started)

The No. 1 Line in Kyoei Industry's Higashi-nihon FtoP Factory went into operation in August 2018, and the No. 2 Line in February 2020.

Technology and business model

F-to-P Direct Recycling Technology is a further-developed and more efficient technology than Bottle-to-Bottle Mechanical Recycling. The “flake” created by pulverizing and washing recovered PET bottles is treated at high temperature and low pressure for a fixed period and that, after being melted and filtered, enables the preform*2 to be manufactured directly.. CO2 emissions can be reduced by more than 60% compared to bottles made by petroleum-derived materials.

*2 The initial form of the PET bottle, made from PET resin and shaped like a test tube. This is processed into PET bottles by heating and blowing high-pressure air into it

Achievements and goals

Each production line has the capacity to produce approximately 300 million preforms per year, all of which are used for PET bottles manufactured by Suntory Beverage & Food. Suntory will continue to contribute to the realization of a recycling-oriented society by adding production lines and further promoting the manufacture of recycled PET bottles with less environmental impact. In addition, this technology received the WorldStar Award at the WorldStar Packaging Awards 2019.

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