Vietnam-based Thanh Tai Gas Co. has selected Bepex International, Minneapolis, to custom design, fabricate and deliver its BePet plastic bottle recycling systems. The FDA-approved system will allow Thanh Tai to recycle up to 1.5 billion plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) per year. According to Bepex, it is the first installation in southeast Asia.

“BePet cost-effectively recycles PET plastic flake while simultaneously controlling final product quality,” says Ralph Imholte, president and CEO. “Our new system can help the industry move toward greater sustainability by making the resulting recycled PET flake more cost effective and useable in more ways than other current PET recycling systems offer.”

The system allows the processing plant operator to control both decontamination of the plastic and product intrinsic viscosity (IV) - a measure of the strength of the plastic polymer, which determines how the resulting plastic can be used - at the same time and in solid form. Different IV plastic can be used for different applications. For example, high IV can be used for tire cord applications while low IV plastic can be used for fiber applications such as fleece or carpet.

The first line of the FDA-approved system for Thanh Tai will be installed and fully operational by January 2012, say the companies, after which a second parallel line will be installed to expand capacity to produce different IV plastic for a range of applications, especially for the food packing industry.