ALPLA Group

ALPLA joins cross-industry con­sor­tium for che­mical recy­cling

Inno­va­tive tech­no­logy enables cir­cu­la­rity for difficult-to-recycle PET plastic waste

Hard, 19 December 2019 – ALPLA Group, an inter­na­tional plastic packa­ging and recy­cling spe­cia­list, joins a new con­sor­tium for che­mical recy­cling of PET. The con­sor­tium intends to speed up the com­mer­cia­li­sa­tion of enhanced recy­cling tech­no­logy, BP Infinia, which turns opaque and difficult-to-recycle PET plastic waste into recy­cled feed­stocks.

Lea­ding com­pa­nies ope­ra­ting across the poly­ester packa­ging value chain – inclu­ding busi­nesses involved in the manu­fac­ture, use, collec­tion and recy­cling of poly­ethy­lene tere­ph­tha­late (PET) plastic packa­ging – today announced they have formed a new con­sor­tium that aims to help to address the pro­blem of plastic waste by acce­le­ra­ting the com­mer­cia­li­sa­tion of BP Infinia enhanced recy­cling tech­no­logy.

The con­sor­tium intends to com­bine the capa­bi­li­ties and expe­ri­ence of its mem­bers – packa­ging and recy­cling spe­cia­list ALPLA; food, drink and con­sumer goods pro­du­cers Britvic, Danone and Uni­lever; waste manage­ment and recy­cling spe­cia­list Remondis; and energy and petro­che­mi­cals pro­ducer BP – to develop a new cir­cular approach to dealing with PET plastic waste.

Georg Lässer, Head of Recy­cling at ALPLA said: ‘ALPLA is delighted to join this cross-functional pro­ject with part­ners from the entire value chain. It com­pletes our intense activi­ties besides mecha­nical recy­cling and focuses on post-industrial PET waste, difficult-to-recycle PET packa­ging and PET ther­mo­form trays. With BP in the lead, we have a very strong and highly expe­ri­enced partner that con­tri­butes with know­ledge about virgin poly­ester pro­duc­tion.’

Rita Griffin, BP Chief Ope­ra­ting Officer Petro­che­mi­cals said: ‘BP is expe­ri­enced in deve­lo­ping and sca­ling up tech­no­logy and we’ll do this again with our inno­va­tive BP Infinia pro­cess. But we know we cannot create cir­cu­la­rity on our own. That’s why we are thrilled to be working tog­e­ther with industry lea­ders to develop and prove a prac­tical busi­ness model that can hope­fully con­tri­bute to making all types of poly­ester waste infi­ni­tely recy­clable.’

Avoid down­cy­cling as well as land­fill and inci­nera­tion
PET is a plastic widely used for rigid food packa­ging and drinks, per­sonal care and home­care bot­tles. It is a light­weight, durable and ver­sa­tile mate­rial and one of the most collected and recy­cled types of plastic.[1] Of the PET plastic bot­tles collected glo­bally, more than 75 per cent are recy­cled, but only 12 per cent of those collected make it back into new bot­tles.[2] The rema­inder is cur­r­ently lost from the bottle-to-bottle loop[3], as it is used for other app­li­ca­tions which are usually dis­posed of directly after use to land­fills or inci­ne­ra­tors, due to lack of sepa­rate collec­tion.

The con­sor­tium mem­bers believe by joi­ning forces they can speed up the com­mer­cia­li­sa­tion of the tech­no­logy, infra­st­ruc­ture and demand needed to pro­cess bil­lions of opaque and difficult-to-recycle PET bot­tles and food trays that are cur­r­ently dis­posed of each year, inclu­ding those that are dif­fi­cult to recycle by cur­rent con­ven­tional recy­cling methods.[4]

More infor­ma­tion about the com­pany: www.alpla.com

About ALPLA Group:
ALPLA is one of the leading companies involved in plastic packaging. Around 20,800 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, closures and moulded parts at 178 sites across 46 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 in Austria, Poland and Spain, and in the form of joint ventures in Mexico and Germany. By signing the New Plastics Economy’s Global Commitment in October 2018, ALPLA has committed to achieving targets by 2025: all packaging solutions are to be fully recyclable. The volume of recycled materials is to rise to 25 per cent of total material usage. 50 million euros is being made available for the expansion of recycling activities.

 

About BP Petrochemicals
BP’s petrochemicals business manufactures and markets products that are produced using industry-leading proprietary technology, and are then used by others to make essential consumer products such as food packaging, textiles and building materials.

BP has developed an enhanced recycling technology, BP Infinia, that enables currently unrecyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste to be diverted from landfill or incineration and instead transformed back into new, virgin-quality feedstocks. In October 2019, BP Petrochemicals announced plans to construct a $25 million pilot plant in the US to prove the technology on a continuous basis before before progressing to full-scale commercialisation.

Notes
[1] Source: Ellen MacAr­thur Foun­da­tion: The New Plastics Eco­nomy, Napcor.

[2] Based on Wood MacKenzie Che­mi­cals Data. PET­collec­tion rates are based on bottle con­sump­tion alone; of the 27 mil­lion tonnes of PET pro­duced for food and drinks packa­ging, 23 mil­lion tonnes is con­sumed as bot­tles and 4 mil­lion tonnes as ther­mo­formed pro­ducts, such as food trays. In 2019, it is esti­mated that some 13 mil­lion tonnes of bot­tles are collected glo­bally and con­verted into 10 mil­lion tonnes of post-consumer resin. Of that, 1.6 mil­lion tonnes is used for bot­tles.

[3] Recy­cling a PET bottle back into a new PET bottle.

[4] Source: BP cal­cu­la­tions based on pro­duc­tion of recy­cled PTA from mul­tiple faci­li­ties – amoun­ting to a scale equi­va­lent to a typical virgin PTA plant of around 1 mil­lion tonnes – would require total feed­stock of many mil­lions of tonnes of opaque and difficult-to-recycle PET packa­ging. Based on the average weight of spe­cific packa­ging types sui­table for this tech­no­logy (from 10 to 30 grams), this feed­stock would equate to bil­lions of packa­ging items.

Enquiry infor­ma­tion for edi­to­rial:
ALPLA, Alex­andra Ditt­rich (PR & Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions), 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
BP press office, London: tel. +44 (0)207 496 4076, email: bppress@bp.com