EUR 250m to be spent for recycling operations / Expansion and international push
Austrian packaging manufacturer Alpla (Hard; says it intends to invest a yearly average of EUR 50m through 2025 in the further expansion of recycling activities. Above all, the internationalisation of the measures for making high-quality recyclates is planned in order to close material cycles in as many regions as possible.

In October 2018, Alpla signed the "Global Commitment" of the New Plastics Economy, an initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF, Cowes / UK; By joining the movement, the internationally active packaging and recycling specialist committed itself to the complete recyclability of its packaging, at least 25% of recycled material in the packaging it produces, and the investment of EUR 50m in reclaim operations: now it plans to spend five times that amount over the next half decade.

"We have achieved a lot in the past two years and have been very active in recycling. We were able to get bottle-to-bottle projects off the ground in Asia, Europe and Central America, among others," said Georg Lässer, Alpa’s head of corporate recycling. "Nevertheless, we continue to see growing demand from our customers worldwide."
Mechanical recycling preferred
Günther Lehner, chairman of the company advisory board, said the focus will be on high-quality areas of application in new regions: "At the moment, too much material is still being downcycled. Our goal, however, is a bottle-to-bottle cycle – even in regions where recycling of waste does not currently play a major role."

Lässer said he sees long-term development opportunities in countries outside Europe with only rudimentary infrastructures: "Customers around the world ask us about packaging with recycled content, and now also in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, China and India."

For Europe, he said: "This market is now highly competitive. Thanks to our own factories and partnerships, we achieved a good market position in Western Europe at an early stage, which we also want to expand."

With regard to technologies, Alpla continues to focus primarily on mechanical recycling. "We see chemical recycling as a supplement, but development work is still needed here," Lässer explained. "We are already involved in internal and external research projects. Because in the long term, there will be no getting around that if you want to meet the ambitious statutory recycling quotas."
Recycling capacity cited at 130,000 t/y for PET and 60,000 t/y for PE
In mid-2019, Alpla announced a cooperation with PTT Global Chemical (Bangkok / Thailand; and the planned construction of a recycling plant in Thailand. Production will start at the beginning of 2022, and both PET and polyethylene are to be recycled at the plant, which is based in the Rayong region (see of 24.02.2020). With the purchase of two Spanish recycling companies in November 2019, Alpla entered HDPE recycling for the first time (see of 08.11.2019). The Austrian company is currently continuing this foray into polyolefin recycling with the construction of a plant in Toluca / Mexico (see of 24.09.2020). Production of 15,000 t rHDPE is set to begin in autumn 2021.

The existing plants in Austria and Poland have also been further developed. At the domestic site in Wöllersdorf, investments were made in a new sorting of flakes and prerequisites for PE niche products were created. In Radomsko / Poland, a new extrusion line expanded capacity to 30,000 t/y of rPET (see of 25.05.2020). And the cooperation with Texplast in Germany was updated with the joint venture PET Recycling Team Wolfen for recycling PET from the country’s yellow bag system (see of 11.04.2019).

Alpla recently announced the installation of a rPET extrusion line at its own preform plant in Italy (see of 27.01.2021). Total annual capacity of Alpla’s own recycling combined with that of it joint ventures and partnership is said to be around 130,000 t for PET and 60,000 t for PE.
24.02.2021 [247015-0]
Published on 24.02.2021
Alpla: Investitionen von 250 Mio EUR in das RecyclingGerman version of this article...

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