Kaytech awarded Recycling Innovator of the Year

27 June 2018

Kaytech Engineered Fabrics has won the top award in the category of Recycling Innovator of the Year at the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) Awards Ceremony on 7th June 2018.

This category recognises the recycling facility that leads all other facilities in one or more key measurements, such as innovation, volumes of PET collected and/or processed, site improvements, or sustainability measures adopted. Kaytech, as the leading geotextile manufacturer in southern Africa, is well known for producing bidim, a quality needle-punched nonwoven continuous filament geotextile from rPET.

Although this recycling initiative is not new, Kaytech’s recent investment in a second, larger and more sophisticated line at their Atlantis plant  (that will more than double the consumption of rPET at capacity) has developed the processing of the rPET into an improved geotextile.

Chris Els, manufacturing director at Kaytech, and his highly competent management team, have been instrumental in ensuring the new line delivers on this. Many innovations and modifications have been made to the process to include improved polymer extrusion, drawing of the filament, laydown of the batt, double needling thereof and a new compact wind up system of the final bidim geotextile. The technology employed is not available as a turnkey solution from any one equipment supplier, resulting in the need to build such a plant from the ground up.

In addition to the ameliorated ‘green’ economies of scale with the increased rPET consumption leading to greater competitiveness, another significant investment has been made at the Atlantis production facility, where the installation of 1947 (315W) PV panels on all the roofs to optimise sunlight hours generates about 614 KW during peak exposure time.

According to Chris Els, “One of the biggest impacts of our business relates to the collection of plastic bottles that go into the recycling process. Based on Petco’s statistics, this translates into a considerable number of people that now have income opportunities due to the additional capacity that we are generating from our line.”

This combination of job opportunities, improved processing of larger volumes of rPET and greater efficiencies using solar energy to supplement power consumption and the resultant reduction in the process footprint, clearly marks Kaytech as the leader in recycling innovation.

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