Packaging recycler Alpla is continuing its global expansion by setting up a bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Targu Mures, Romania. PET Recycling Team Targu Mures is a joint venture established by Alpla together with Romanian partner Ecohelp and United Polymer Trading of Switzerland.
The three companies are investing EUR 7.5 million in the installation of an extrusion line to recycle post-consumer PET bottles at the Romanian partner’s site. They aim to produce 15 000 tonnes of food-grade post-consumer recycled PET per year. The rPET granulate will be used to manufacture new preforms and bottles with the intention of strengthening the local materials cycle within Central and South-Eastern Europe.
While Alpla acts as a recycling specialist and a preform and bottle manufacturer, Ecohelp supplies base material in the form of PET flakes that will go through an extrusion process to produce high-grade rPET granules. UPT in turn co-owns the rPET upcycling facility Cumapol Emmen in The Netherlands and specialises in trading plastics and recycled materials.
Alpla chairman Günther Lehner emphasises the significance of the investment: ‘Our aim at Alpla now and in the future is to establish a bottle-to-bottle cycle, including those regions in which the collection and recycling of waste still has potential for development. By participating in this joint venture, we are taking a strategically important and sustainable step in this direction.’
EUR 250 million investment
The Romanian project is yet another step in Alpla’s global growth. In early 2021, the company announced it would invest an average of EUR 50 million each year in expansing its recycling activities until 2025. In total, the annual capacity of the Alpla recycling companies, joint ventures and partnerships amounts to approximately 130 000 tonnes of PET and 60 000 tonnes of PE.
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