Recy­cled HDPE with an excel­lent carbon footprint

rHDPE causes up to 88 per cent fewer CO2 emis­sions than virgin material

Hard, 5 May 2022 – Recy­cled HDPE (rHDPE) from the Spa­nish recy­cling plants Sum­inco in Mont­cada i Reixac and in Venta de Baños, which belong to the ALPLA Group, causes up to 88 per cent fewer carbon equi­va­lent emis­sions than virgin mate­rial. This fin­ding of an ana­lysis per­formed by the inde­pen­dent busi­ness con­sul­tancy c7-consult once again unders­cores the importance of recycling.

Recy­cling pla­stic pack­a­ging has been an inte­gral part of ALPLA’s sus­taina­bi­lity stra­tegy for more than 25 years.The global manu­fac­turer of pla­stic pack­a­ging always advo­cates a closed pack­a­ging loop in accordance with the bottle-to-bottle prin­ciple. Recy­cling plays a key role in this, giving value to used pla­stic pack­a­ging. Having long since estab­lished a name for itself glo­bally as a partner for PET recy­cling on the basis of its own recy­cling plants, the com­pany addi­tio­nally moved into HDPE recy­cling in autumn 2019 when it purchased the two Spa­nish recy­cling plants.

To unders­core the importance of recy­cling in the area of HDPE too, ALPLA com­mis­sioned c7-consult, an inde­pen­dent busi­ness con­sul­tancy focu­sing on life cycle assess­ments, the cli­mate and sus­taina­bi­lity, with cal­cu­la­ting the carbon foot­print of rHDPE (recy­cled HDPE).

rHDPE signi­fi­cantly reduces carbon emissions
The result illus­trates once again why it pays to con­tinue to invest in recy­cling acti­vi­ties – the rHDPE pro­duced in Mont­cada has a carbon foot­print of 0.24 kg of carbon equi­va­lents per kilo­gram. This equates to 88 per cent fewer green­house gas emis­sions than virgin HDPE, which has a foot­print of 1.92 kg of carbon equi­va­lents per kilo­gram. The rHDPE pro­duced in Venta de Baños like­wise has an excel­lent foot­print of 0.28 kg of carbon equi­va­lents per kilo­gram, put­ting it 85 per cent lower than virgin HDPE. The ana­lysis covers the sepa­rate coll­ec­tion and sorting of post-consumer HDPE bot­tles (pri­ma­rily in Spain), their ship­ment to the ALPLA recy­cling plants, and their being washed and pro­cessed into rHDPE pel­lets. The two plants curr­ently have an annual capa­city of appro­xi­m­ately 25,000 tonnes of rHDPE.

The saving of up to 88 per cent CO2 with rHDPE in com­pa­rison to virgin mate­rial con­firms once again that our invest­ments in our global recy­cling acti­vi­ties are worth it. We wish to con­tinue on this path in the future too.’
Gün­ther Lehner, ALPLA Chairman

Colour sorting offers addi­tional advantages
When it comes to recy­cling HDPE, ALPLA focuses in par­ti­cular on colour sorting. This main­tains high-quality HDPE recy­cling streams, pre­serves colour streams and keeps pack­a­ging in the loop for a long time. Tur­ning yellow HDPE into yellow rHDPE, white into white, red into red or blue into blue, for example, reduces the use of colour pig­ments, while addi­tio­nally pre­ven­ting com­ming­ling and the­r­e­fore also ‘greying’ of the material.

This enables ALPLA to meet many of its cus­to­mers’ mar­ke­ting requi­re­ments and pro­duce many examples of coloured pack­a­ging using sus­tainable recy­cled mate­rials. This goes hand in hand with important mea­sures in the area of design for recy­cling which aim to accom­mo­date the com­plete recy­cla­bi­lity of a pro­duct already at the con­cept deve­lo­p­ment stage.

ALPLA inves­ting in the cir­cular economy
In 2018, ALPLA signed the Global Com­mit­ment of the New Pla­s­tics Eco­nomy, an initia­tive of the Ellen Mac­Ar­thur Foun­da­tion, and com­mitted to spen­ding a total of 50 mil­lion euros to expand its recy­cling acti­vi­ties up to 2025. ALPLA has since signi­fi­cantly increased this invest­ment target. From 2021, an average of 50 mil­lion euros a year will be ring-fenced spe­ci­fi­cally for recy­cling. In addi­tion, all pack­a­ging solu­tions are to be fully recy­clable by 2025 and the pro­por­tion of pro­cessed post-consumer recy­cled mate­rials is to rise to 25 per cent of total mate­rial usage by this time.


About the ALPLA Group
ALPLA is one of the leading companies involved in plastic packaging and recycling. Around 22,100 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, caps and moulded parts at 177 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 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, Lukas Oes­terle (Sus­taina­bi­lity Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Manager), tel.: +43 (0)5574 6021 2132, email:
Pzwei. Pres­se­ar­beit, Joshua Köb, tel.: +43 (0)5574 44715 22, email: