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.
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