In pilot stage, there are Pepsi, Pepsi No Sugar and Pepsi No Sugar Lime whose sizes are 550ml. start using rPET bottles which you can find in modern trade channels and convenience stores. In addition, ready-to-drink Oolong tea TEA+ No Sugar, Tasty and Honey Lemon serving size 490ml are available in retail stores and Makro. The size 500ml of TEA+ No Sugar, Tasty and Honey Lemon are available in modern trade channels and convenience stores.
rPET bottles (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) are made from the recycling of used PET bottles, which are clean and safe according to Thai FDA standard as same as new bottles from virgin PET. The advantage of using rPET bottles is they can be reintroduced into the loop many times, resulting to reducing of wastes to the environment and helping to decrease the usage of natural resources.
The main production process of rPET is the recycling process, starting from collecting used and clean PET bottles and then separating caps and labels. Next steps are grinding PET bottles into small flakes, cleansing by the special techniques in several steps, and melting the flakes at the high temperature, then verifying and improving quality, resulting to the good quality rPET resins as food grade for consumption. Finally, the rPET resin will be converted to the rPET bottles.
This recycling process is called “Bottle-to-Bottle Recycling”. The recycling process that can do this process must be efficient, met the standards, and passed the quality and safety assessment by Thai FDA. In Thailand, there are many recycling plants met with those standards.
rPET bottles are clean, safe, and qualified with standard set by the FDA; therefore, they could be used as the beverage containers.
At present, the recycling technologies are advanced consisting of washing procedure, heat melting and the quality improvement by special techniques met with the international standard from both U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the European Union Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to ensure that the quality of rPET bottles hardly different from virgin PET bottles.
Especially in Thailand, after Thai Food and Drug Administration has unlocked its regulation allowing the use of recycled plastic. It means Thai FDA must be confident in the quality and safety of rPET bottles. Importantly, the rPET bottles of Suntory PepsiCo Thailand are qualified with the FDA’s standard. So, it is safe for consumption.
since they have the same Recycled Triangle Number 1 symbol?
Both virgin PET bottles and rPET bottles have the same Recycled Triangle Number 1 symbol. This symbol only identifies type of plastic. It doesn’t differentiate between virgin PET and recycled PET. However, both virgin PET and recycled PET are not different in terms of quality and safety which can be safely used as beverage packaging. Importantly, PET and rPET bottles can be recycled together without separation
rPET bottle can be infinitely recycled. In the recycling process, there are important steps namely verification and quality improvement leading to the good quality of rPET resins. rPET bottle can be considered as truly sustainable packaging because they can be infinitely recycled.
Since the current recycling technologies only support for “Bottle-to-Bottle” recycling while the labels and caps are made from other types of plastic or have the different design of feature and functions, they cannot pass the same recycling process, labels and caps must be sorted out first. Caps can be then recycled into other materials and labels can be utilized as the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
rPET bottle is the eco-friendly packaging. Its benefits are:
- Reduce the number of used packaging going to landfills due to circulating for recycle many times
- Reduce the use of natural resources including oil crude, natural gas and also reduce energy consumption
- Reduce the greenhouse gas emission and global warming
- Generate extra income for the collectors who sell the well-sorted plastic bottles
- Promote the Circular economy in a concrete way