PET recycling: From bottle to flake


Recycling markets have an increasing demand for quality materials, influenced by various factors such as the EU circular economy package or the drastic reduction of Asian imports. As a result, most market players consider optical sorting one of the main drivers for the circular economy.

Plastic recyclers are increasingly demanding in terms of the purity of sorted materials, and automated sorting has become an indisputable solution for achieving their performance objectives. In particular, PET recyclers require a very high level of quality, especially in food contact applications. Quality must be guaranteed throughout the sorting chain.

To respond to fast-paced market growth, Pellenc ST and Bühler announced a new partnership to complement their product portfolio. The collaboration between the bottle-sorting machine manufacturer and the flake-sorting machine manufacturer is primarily aimed at supporting PET recyclers in their quest for performance and quality. It is the start of a new and solid industrial partnership that will enrich both companies and continue to evolve, step-by-step, based on future opportunities. According to Jean HENIN, President of Pellenc ST: “Our companies share common values and a similar technological approach, both our brands are complementary and will enable us to jointly strengthen our positions”.


To get off to a good start, the two teams met at the beginning of May for a technical workshop and a training session. The Pellenc ST Test Center was equipped with a Bühler ‘SORTEX A GlowVision’ sorter to test sorting on PET flakes and provide a complete sorting service across the entire recycling process. Now, the Pellenc ST headquarters is ready to welcome plastics recyclers and realize trials on PET from bottle to flake.

The ultimate common goal is to propose the best of our product and technology offerings to meet today’s and tomorrow’s market needs.


About Pellenc ST

With more than 20 years of experience in the recycling industry, Pellenc ST supports operators and municipalities by providing intelligent and connected sorting solutions to modernise their industrial tools and meet the new standards of 4.0 sorting centres. Pellenc ST designs, produces and markets optical sorting and inspection equipment for waste treatment and recycling industries. Its technology sorts and recovers materials from various waste sources including, selective collection, municipal solid waste, industrial, electronics, automotive and construction waste in more than 40 countries around the world. Based on proprietary R&D and “Made in France” manufacturing, Pellenc ST offers robust and easy-to-use equipment. The company develops methods and quality control processes certified ISO 14001, ISO 180001 and ISO 9001.

With over 2 000 machines installed worldwide, the Pellenc ST network benefits from local teams specially dedicated to customer satisfaction. Our sales and customer service teams support their partners with specific expertise to optimize their sorting lines. Our hotline responds 24/7 and our service engineers travel worldwide to guarantee the highest level of performance and availability.

Pellenc ST employs 250 people at its French headquarters and its international subsidiaries (USA, Japan, Spain, Italy, UK, Australia, …). The company has a turnover of more than €75 million in 2022 and devotes 10% of its turnover and 35% of its workforce to R&D each year.

About Bühler

Bühler is driven by its purpose of creating innovations for a better world, balancing the needs of economy, humanity, and nature. As a relevant solution partner for the food and mobility industries, Bühler has developed a pathway to achieve a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 2030, meaning Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scopes 1 & 2, against a 2019 baseline. It has committed to having solutions ready to multiply by 2025 that reduce energy, waste, and water by 50% in the value chains of its customers. Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies as they cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment; and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured using parts produced with Bühler technology. Countless people wear eyeglasses, use smart phones, and read newspapers and magazines – all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions. Having this global relevance, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business. Bühler contributes to safely feeding the world and is doing its part to protect the climate, producing solutions that make cars, buildings, and machinery more energy efficient.

Bühler spends up to 5% of turnover on research and development annually. In 2022, some 12,700 employees generated a turnover of CHF 3.0 billion. As a Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is active in 140 countries around the world and operates a global network of 105 service stations, 30 manufacturing sites, and Application & Training Centers in 23 countries.

For more information, contact-us!