The Alpla Group, with corporate headquarters in Hard, Austria, says it is investing more than 5 million euros in an extrusion system for food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) and the building to house it at its site in Anagni, Italy.
Alpla says Anagni in central Italy is home to one its most important preform production plants. The plant, which employs 91 people, processes roughly 50,000 metric tons of PET annually, though only a very small proportion currently is made from recycled material. The company says it is installing an extrusion system that will produce 15,000 metric tons of rPET annually. It is scheduled to go into operation in the second half of 2021, creating 10 new jobs.
With the addition of the rPET extrusion line, the company says customers will have the option of sourcing preforms made partly or even entirely of rPET.
“We will buy in PET flakes made from used household packaging from local recyclers, process them into food-grade rPET and then use this at the site for preforms,” Fabio Mazzarella, plant manager in Anagni, says. He adds that rPET production at the site will result in synergies in logistics and warehousing as well as energy savings, potentially.
Georg Lässer, head of corporate recycling at Alpla, considers the investment in central Italy to be strategic. “We want to promote the bottle-to-bottle cycle and avoid downcycling. In addition, we would like to boost local recycling solutions in a region that does not have the necessary infrastructure for the bottle loop up to now.”
He adds that the installation of the extruder will ensure Alpla can offer its customers “optimum support with realizing new specifications and targets in the long term too and that we can offer them top-quality recycled materials.”