PAKT Packaging

PAKT develops new technologies that will make glass packaging reusable in the future.

Thijs Wester is the founder of Pakt together with Peter Verweij. During their studies in mechanical engineering in Eindhoven, they started with the idea of ​​using technology for social relevance. “We became fascinated by the circular economy and saw that a big step could still be made in terms of industrialization, while a lot was already possible in terms of technology. We have taken up the challenge to use our knowledge in the field of automation, robotics and vision to enable the circular economy.” They do this using old glass. “We are building a system to make glass packaging reusable instead of 'just' recyclable. Melting down glass requires a lot of energy, which makes recycled glass not the best solution in terms of CO2 emissions. But if you are going to reuse glass, it is one of the most favorable types of packaging. Our system works like the beer bottle system: the beer bottle is returned, rinsed and refilled. We make it possible to do this for other glass packaging as well. The challenge here is that people buy a crate of beer, but not a crate of peanut butter. You receive everything from the consumer at the same time. PAKT will automatically unpack, sort, clean and deliver this back to the industry so that it can be used again.”

Questions & challenges

“We are currently in two pilots, a small pilot in which we conducted our own research and a second larger pilot in which we conducted research with partners from the chain. Last summer we put a hall into use where we processed more than 200,000 jars. This has allowed us to gain operational experience and now we are about to serve the first customer and deploy the first automation tools.”


“We are faced with various challenges that circular entrepreneurship as a start-up entails. It is a new investment model that many investors have no experience with and it is also hardware driven, which means you have to invest a lot before you can take the next step. We are participating in the Circular Factory program to further sharpen our proposition and become even clearer about who our customers are and how we can make a really good investment proposition to take the next step.” The questions consist of: which partners do you need and how do you ensure that they are all aligned so that you can move forward. In the future we want to have a factory worth 30 million: how are you going to build towards that, what steps do you need to take? We notice that little guidance is offered for circular start-ups, Circulair Factory is an exception to this and we hope to be able to make good use of it.”

The future

“In five years’ time, we hope to have a national collection system for several online retailers and to work on a collection system that also makes it possible to collect glass in stores. And we hope by then everyone in the Netherlands will know our system!”



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