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Packaging major pumps EUR 250 million into recycling

Plastics producer Alpla Group is to invest up to an average EUR 50 million a year until 2025 to expand its recycling activities and close the materials cycle in ‘as many regions as possible’.

In the past two years Alpla has launched bottle-to-bottle projects in Asia, Europe and Central America and the company continues to see growing demand from customers all over the world. Alpla says this presents an opportunity to ‘kick-start’ further investment projects. ‘Our aim is to establish a bottle-to-bottle cycle – including in regions in which the recycling of waste does not currently play a large part,’ says Günther Lehner, chairman of the company advisory board.

Serving as a role model

Georg Lässer, head of recycling, sees long-term development opportunities in countries outside Europe: ‘Customers around the world, including in Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, China and India, enquire about packaging made with a proportion of recycled materials. In Europe, Alpla has built ‘a strong position’, with its own plants and partnerships, something they aim to further consolidate.’

Lehner adds: ‘Our plants in Austria and Poland have done the pioneering work. Day in, day out, we are demonstrating that used packaging is of value and that there is great potential in a recycling economy. We want to boost this understanding in more countries.’

No lack of key milestones

Alpla is already close to starting production at a new recycling facility in Toluca, Mexico in the second half of 2021. The company is also developing a PET and HDPE recycling plant in Thailand. Capacities at the existing plants in Austria, Poland and Germany have been expanded over the past two years while installation of an rPET extrusion system at one of its own preform plants in Italy is underway.

Combined annual capacity of Alpla recycling companies, joint ventures and partnerships amounts to 130 000 tonnes of PET and 60 000 tonnes of PE.

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