Every day, the Novedrate recycling facility transforms around three million PET bottles from sorting facilities throughout Europe into polyester nonwoven material. Trucks deliver the bottles as 400-600 kilo wire-bound bales. First the recycling lines use detectors to remove any foreign material such as caps, labels, PVC or rubber. The equipment then washes the bottles and chops them into so-called flakes or tiny plastic crumbs. These are melted and extruded into fibers. In a multi-phase integrated cycle, a versatile, easy to process polyester nonwoven material is created, which can be used in various applications, e.g. in the textile and household market segments.
The construction industry generally uses it as a backing material, which we then sell on to our customers for use in the manufacture of waterproof bitumen roof membranes,” says Lucio Pasini, Head of Business Development and Strategic Marketing at the Construction Division. The nonwoven backing material uses fiberglass filaments to provide longitudinal reinforcement of the nonwoven material. The roof membranes are thus both elastic and stable and can withstand extreme heat. This is important as the material is subject to high temperature fluctuations outside.