ALPLA Group

ALPLA Group: 50 mil­lion euros a year for recycling

Expan­sion and glo­ba­li­sa­tion of recy­cling acti­vi­ties to be expe­dited bet­ween now and 2025

Hard, 19 February 2021 – The ALPLA Group, a world leader in the deve­lo­p­ment, pro­duc­tion and recy­cling of plastic pack­a­ging, is to invest up to 50 mil­lion euros a year on average bet­ween now and 2025 in fur­ther expan­ding its recy­cling acti­vi­ties. In par­ti­cular, it plans to glo­ba­lise its acti­vi­ties in the area of high-quality recy­clates in order to close the mate­rials cycle in as many regions as possible.

In October 2018, the ALPLA Group signed the Global Com­mit­ment of the New Plastics Eco­nomy, an initia­tive of the Ellen MacAr­thur Foun­da­tion. In so doing, the inter­na­tional pack­a­ging and recy­cling spe­cia­list com­mitted to some ambi­tious tar­gets – com­plete pack­a­ging recy­c­la­bi­lity, at least 25 per cent recy­cled mate­rials in the pack­a­ging it pro­duces and spen­ding a total of 50 mil­lion euros to expand its recy­cling acti­vi­ties up to 2025. ALPLA is now signi­fi­cantly incre­a­sing this invest­ment target. From 2021, an average of 50 mil­lion euros a year will be ring-fenced spe­ci­fi­cally for recycling.

We have achieved a great deal in the past two years and have been very active in the area of recy­cling. We suc­ceeded in initia­ting bottle-to-bottle pro­jects around the world, inclu­ding in Asia, Europe and Cen­tral Ame­rica. We nevertheless con­tinue to see incre­a­sing demand on the part of our cus­to­mers all over the world,’ exp­lains Georg Lässer, Head of Cor­po­rate Recy­cling at ALPLA. This incre­a­sing global demand gives ALPLA the oppor­tu­nity to kick-start fur­ther invest­ment pro­jects, says Lässer. Gün­ther Lehner, Chairman of the Com­pany Advi­sory Board, stresses that the com­pany will focus in par­ti­cular on high-quality app­li­ca­tion areas in new regions: ‘Too much mate­rial cur­r­ently goes into down­cy­cling. 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.’

Out­look – ser­ving as a role model around the world
Georg Lässer sees long-term deve­lo­p­ment oppor­tu­nities in coun­tries out­side of Europe that have only rudi­men­tary infra­st­ruc­tures: ‘Cus­to­mers around the world enquire about pack­a­ging made with a pro­por­tion of recy­cled mate­rials, inclu­ding in Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, China and India.’ On Europe, the expert comments as fol­lows: ‘This market is now highly com­pe­ti­tive. We secured a strong market posi­tion early on in Wes­tern Europe with our own plants and part­ners­hips, and this is some­thing we want to fur­ther con­so­li­date.’ Gün­ther Lehner adds: ‘Our plants in Aus­tria and Poland have done pionee­ring work. Day in, day out, we are showing the busi­ness world and society 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.’

In terms of tech­no­logy, ALPLA con­ti­nues to focus pri­ma­rily on mecha­nical recy­cling. It has many years of expe­ri­ence as well as smooth-running part­ners­hips with sup­pliers in this area, and the qua­lity of the recy­clate meets high stan­dards. Lässer comments: ‘We see che­mical recy­cling as com­ple­men­ting mecha­nical recy­cling, but it’s an area in which more deve­lo­p­ment work is needed. We are already involved in internal and external rese­arch pro­jects. Because in the long term, there is no get­ting around this if we want to achieve the ambi­tious sta­tu­tory recy­cling quotas.’

Loo­king back – key milestones
In mid-2019, ALPLA announced a part­nership with PTT Global Che­mical and its plans to build a recy­cling plant in Thai­land. This plant will go into ope­ra­tion in early 2022, with both PET and PE being recy­cled in the Rayong Pro­vince. Ano­ther mile­stone was achieved in November 2019 with the acqui­si­tion of two HDPE recy­cling plants in Spain. ALPLA is pres­sing ahead with this move into HDPE recy­cling with the con­struc­tion of a plant in Toluca, Mexico. This is sche­duled to begin pro­du­cing 15,000 tonnes of rHDPE per annum in autumn 2021.

ALPLA has also fur­ther deve­loped its exis­ting plants in Aus­tria and Poland. In Wöl­lers­dorf, an invest­ment was made in a new flake sor­ting faci­lity and the para­me­ters were put in place for niche pro­ducts in the area of PE. In Radomsko, capa­city was incre­ased to 30,000 tonnes of rPET a year with the intro­duc­tion of a new extru­sion system. And the part­nership with Tex­plast in Ger­many was afforded a new basis with the joint ven­ture PET Recy­cling Team Wolfen for the recy­cling of PET sourced from the ‘Gelber Sack’ yellow bin bags for recy­cling. Just recently, ALPLA announced the instal­la­tion of an rPET extru­sion system at one of its own pre­form plants in Italy. In all, 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.

More infor­ma­tion about the com­pany: www.alpla.com

About the ALPLA Group
ALPLA is one of the leading companies involved in plastic packaging. Around 21,600 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, caps and moulded parts at 178 sites across 45 countries. The high-quality packaging is used in a wide range of areas, including for food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning agents, pharmaceutical products, engine oils and lubricants.
ALPLA operates its own recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Poland and Spain, and in the form of joint ventures in Mexico and Germany. Other projects are being realised elsewhere around the world.

Enquiry infor­ma­tion for editorial
ALPLA, Alex­andra Dittrich (Senior Sus­taina­bi­lity Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Manager), tel.: +43 (0)5574 602 1083, email: alexandra.dittrich@alpla.com
Pzwei. Pres­se­ar­beit, Werner F. Sommer, tel.: +43 (0)699 1025 4817, email: werner.sommer@pzwei.at