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Alpla proves HDPE may yet yield recycled content products

Germany – Plastic bottle producer Alpla partnered-up with consumer goods company Henkel to create a line of detergent bottles with at least 15% recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) two years ago. Fast forward to today, it is glad to report that it has already manufactured 60 000 such bottles at its site in Holthausen, Germany, as part of a pilot project.

Alpla, which operates its own PET recycling plants in Mexico, Poland and Austria, uses around 20% rPET at its ten largest production sites. The company is now focussing on sustainable HDPE packaging in hopes of boosting the material’s recycling potential.

‘It is significantly more difficult to recycle HDPE than PET,’ acknowledges packaging manager Israel Garcia Granados. ‘Obtaining the granulate material in high quality is a challenge. But after two years of development work, we have achieved an optimal result,’ he adds.

Collaborating with Henkel on the project turned out to be ‘a great benefit’ and allowed the bottle maker to produce a series of HDPE bottles which meet the highest quality standards in terms of functionality, colour and surface area.

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