SA Plastics

Big capex venture: Propet launches PRO-10 packaging strapping

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On the roll– Vijay Naidu and Chandru Wadhwani of Propet were pleased as punch to be able to launch their PRO-10 PET and PP packaging strapping at the show

PROPET provided a surprise highlight at Propak Cape when it launched its new PRO 10 packaging strapping.

The Cape Town-based PET recycled fibre producer has sourced technology to manufacture the strapping from recycled PET and PP, which – since the company already has a well-established PET container collection and recycling infrastructure – it believes will give the company an important competitive advantage.

Used in a wide variety of packaging applications, specifically for container or pallet securing and stabilization, the strapping was manufactured locally until just a few years ago, but local production was ceased after former manufacturer Afcom found it could not compete with import prices.

Propet has purchased a strapping extrusion line from SIMA of Italy, part of a multi-million rand investment project, which is to be installed at the company’s plant in Killarney, Cape Town, and is due to be operational by year-end. The world’s leading PET strap producers run on SIMA technology and their track record has been proven.

The first samples of the PET and PP strapping, produced on the line during trials in Italy, were exhibited at the Cape show. One of the advantages for Propet is that material from green recycled PET bottles, for which there were limited applications, can now be used in the strapping. It may even be possible to make use of the volumes of brown rPET, sourced mainly from ‘Stoney’ and related CSD containers, which up till now have also had limited post-use application.

With the PP tape, however, virgin material will be used, at least initially, as there are doubts whether the MFI of recycled PP will function.

“We need to demonstrate to government that we are being proactive,” said Chandru Wadhwani, director of Propet, who along with Vijay Naidu were part of the team which was instrumental in motivating the project.

The fact that the rand exchange rate has depreciated since local production ceased may be a further factor in Propet’s favour.

The estimated tonnage of the packaging strapping market in SA is 4000 tons per annum.