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Multi-million-dollar facility boosts Mexico’s PET recycling

A major plant to recycle plastic bottles in south-east Mexico is underway in a joint venture between Coca-Cola and bottle-to-bottle recycling major Alpla. The project is being hailed as ‘a major boost for the circular economy’ in the region.   

A ceremony has been held to mark the start of construction of the plant at Cunduacán in the state of Tabasco. With an investment of more than US$ 60 million (EUR 54 million), the Planta Nueva Ecología de Tabasco (Planeta) will be equipped with the latest technology. It will have the capacity to process 50 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles per year, delivering 35 000 tonnes of recycled PET flakes.

Construction and operation of the Planeta recycling plant is expected to generate more than 20 000 jobs. The facility will be supplied by a network of 18 collection centres spread across south and south-east Mexico. ‘In addition to offering an environmental service, it will boost the region’s economy,’ the partners stress.

The facility will be Alpla’s third recycling plant in Mexico making the company ‘a spearhead at a national level and a recycling benchmark for the rest of the world,’ according to Alpla’s md for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Carlos Torres Ballesteros.

The project in Mexico is part of a wider strategy from Alpla which in 2021 announced it would invest more than EUR 50 million each year until 2025 to expand its global recycling capacity.

Coca-Cola Mexico is part of the so-called World Without Waste initiative launched by Coca-Cola with the aim of making all its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025, integrating 50% recycled PET resin into bottles and collecting 100% of its packaging by 2030.

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