ALPLA invests 60 mil­lion euros in PET recy­cling plant in South Africa

New plant to recycle around 60,000 tonnes of PET bot­tles per year from 2025 onwards

Hard, 13 June 2023 – Pack­a­ging and recy­cling spe­cia­list ALPLA is buil­ding a state-of-the-art recy­cling plant in the South African coastal town of Bal­lito, north of Durban. The plant, with an output of 35,000 tonnes of recy­cled PET mate­rial, marks the company’s entry into the African recy­cling market. Con­s­truc­tion will start in summer 2023 and com­ple­tion is planned for autumn 2024. In total, ALPLA is inves­ting around 60 mil­lion euros in streng­thening the regional cir­cular economy.

The ALPLA Group is streng­thening its com­mit­ment in sou­thern Africa. After ope­ning its new head­quar­ters in Lan­seria near Johan­nes­burg in autumn 2022, the inter­na­tio­nally active com­pany is now announ­cing the con­s­truc­tion of its first own recy­cling plant in South Africa. By autumn 2024, a modern plant for recy­cling used PET bot­tles will be built on a 90,000-square-metre site in Bal­lito near Durban in the pro­vince of Kwa­Zulu Natal. It is the first invest­ment in a food-grade PET recy­cling faci­lity in South Africa’s second lar­gest pro­vince by popu­la­tion and a key invest­ment for the region. In future, almost 60,000 tonnes of PET bot­tles will be recy­cled per year and 35,000 tonnes of mecha­ni­cally recy­cled rPET flakes and pel­lets will be pro­duced from them, the majo­rity of which ALPLA will pro­cess to pro­duce its own bottles.

Our goal is a bottle-to-bottle cycle at the loca­tion of our acti­vi­ties. In this way, as a recy­cler and pro­ducer, we can secure the supply of safe, affordable and sus­tainable pack­a­ging world­wide and at the same time pro­mote awa­re­ness of the recy­clable mate­rial,’ empha­sises ALPLA CEO Philipp Lehner. The com­pany is inves­ting around 60 mil­lion euros in the pro­ject in the indus­trial region around Bal­lito. The new plant will increase the annual pro­duc­tion capa­city of all ALPLA recy­cling com­pa­nies and coope­ra­tions to around 238,000 tonnes for rPET (recy­cled PET) and 74,000 tonnes for rHDPE (recy­cled HDPE).

Partner for the cir­cular economy
The market for high-quality pro­ducts made from recy­cled mate­rials is gro­wing not only in Europe, Asia, and North and South Ame­rica, but also in the south of the African con­ti­nent. In South Africa, the incre­asing demand is accom­pa­nied by the gra­dual expan­sion of nati­on­wide coll­ec­tion sys­tems. ‘Tog­e­ther with the Pro­ducer Respon­si­bi­lity Orga­ni­sa­tion PETCO, who iden­ti­fied Kwa­Zulu Natal as an oppor­tu­nity for enter­prise deve­lo­p­ment, and other key stake­hol­ders, ALPLA has been sup­porting the deve­lo­p­ment of the coll­ec­tion value chain, the sen­si­ti­sa­tion of society and the avo­id­ance of land­fills for years,’ explains Mike Res­nicek, ALPLA Finance and Com­mer­cial Director Africa, Middle East and Turkey, and Director and Member of the Board of PETCO.

In addi­tion, for the rea­li­sa­tion of the recy­cling plant, ALPLA has jointly decided to approach the invest­ment with a local partner. ‘Local know-how com­bined with a sound under­stan­ding of the cul­tural and eco­nomic land­scape is key for such a large-scale pro­ject,’ Res­nicek adds.

PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz says: ‘This invest­ment in a fur­ther bottle-to-bottle plant in South Africa, and par­ti­cu­larly with a local partner, is wel­come news. We need addi­tional off­take for the gro­wing number of post-consumer bot­tles that we are unlo­cking natio­nally, and this also com­ple­ments our trans­for­ma­tion strategy.’

By set­ting up the first recy­cling resources of our own in Africa, we are equip­ping our­selves for the future, making a con­tri­bu­tion to incre­asing the coll­ec­tion rate and redu­cing waste by recy­cling valuable raw mate­rials. At the same time, we are crea­ting many new jobs locally,’ believes Dietmar Marin, ALPLA Mana­ging Director Recy­cling Divi­sion. The new plant in Bal­lito will employ around 100 people in the future. The deve­lo­p­ment of the regional coll­ec­tion system will also have an impact on regional value crea­tion and is expected to gene­rate more than 10,000 indi­rect jobs in the coming years.

Growth market in sou­thern Africa
ALPLA is repre­sented at a total of seven loca­tions in South Africa, Mau­ri­tius and Angola in the sub-Saharan region on the con­ti­nent, where it employs more than 1,000 people. In mid October 2022, the region’s new manu­fac­tu­ring head­quar­ters was inau­gu­rated in Lan­seria near Johan­nes­burg. Prior to this, a second pro­duc­tion plant for PET pre­forms was opened in Angola’s capital Luanda. ALPLA is plan­ning fur­ther invest­ments in sou­thern Africa in the coming years. ‘Regional ancho­ring and global know-how create the basis for strong part­ner­ships and trust. With high-quality pack­a­ging solu­tions made from recy­cled mate­rials, we can sup­port our cus­to­mers in mee­ting their sus­taina­bi­lity goals and offer ever­y­thing from a single source in the future,’ says Javier Del­gado, ALPLA Regional Mana­ging Director Africa, Middle East and Turkey.

About ALPLA Group
ALPLA is one of the world’s leading companies in the manufacture and reuse of plastic packaging. Around 23,300 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, caps and moulded parts at 190 sites in 46 countries. The high-quality packaging is used in a wide range of areas, including for food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household cleaning products, detergents and cleaning agents, pharmaceutical products, engine oils and lubricants.

ALPLA operates recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Romania and Thailand. Other projects are being realised elsewhere around the world.

Infor­ma­tion for editorial
ALPLA, Erik Nielsen (Team Leader, Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions), tel.: +43 (0)5574 6021 701, email:
Pzwei. Pres­se­ar­beit, Joshua Köb, tel.: +43 (0)5574 44715 22, email: