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Alpla buys into HDPE plants

Plastic packaging specialist Alpla is moving into polyolefin recycling with its acquisition of two Spanish companies.

The takeover of Suminco in Montcada, near Barcelona and Replacal in Palencia, north of Madrid was agreed in October. Both businesses belong to a family-owned enterprise with more than 35 years of experience of manufacturing HDPE recyclates. The annual capacity of the recycling plants, which have a total workforce of 50, will be expanded to 35,000 tonnes. The contracting partners have agreed not to disclose any further details.

Sustainable packaging drive

Alpla already has its own PET recycling plants in Austria and Poland and joint ventures in Mexico and Germany with a total annual capacity of 70,000 tonnes. ‘The investment in the two recycling plants in Spain brings us one step closer to our overall goal of being the leading manufacturer of sustainable plastic packaging,’ says Georg Lässer, head of recycling at Alpla. ‘We are safeguarding our production plants’ material supply and are doing our bit to achieve a functioning circular economy.’

Multi-million investment

Most of Suminco and Replacal’s recyclates have previously gone into the manufacture of corrugated pipes for sewage systems and other industrial applications. Alpla intends to use the output for packaging. In 2018, it signed the Global Commitment of the New Plastics Economy, an initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme.

The company has earmarked an investment sum of EUR 50 million to expand its recycling activities. It also wants all of its packaging solutions to be fully recyclable by 2025. The volume of processed post-consumer recycled materials is to rise to 25% of total material usage.

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