The Austria-based Alpla Group says it has committed to invest up to 50 million euros ($60.5 million) per year on average between 2021 and 2025 to further expand its recycling activities. In particular, the company says, it plans to globalize its activities “in order to close the materials cycle in as many regions as possible.”
In 2018, the Alpla Group signed the Global Commitment of the New Plastics Economy (an initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation) and committed to spending a total of $60.5 million to expand its recycling activities up to 2025. Alpla says it increasing this investment target by spending an average of $60.5 million per year to be “ring-fenced specifically for recycling.”
“We have been very active in the past the past two years,” says Georg Lässer, head of corporate recycling at Alpla. “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. This sustained demand gives Alpla the opportunity to kick-start further investment projects.”
States Günther Lehner, chair of the company’s advisory board, “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. 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.
He continues, “Our plants in Austria and Poland have done pioneering work. Day in, day out, we are demonstrating 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.”
Alpla says its move into high-density polyethylene (HDPE) recycling in 2019 is being continued with the construction of a plant in Toluca, Mexico, which is scheduled to go into production in the fall of this year. The company also is building a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and HDPE recycling plant in Thailand together with a business partner.
Capacities at the existing plants in Austria, Poland and Germany have been expanded over the past two years and 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 metric tons of PET and 60,000 metric tons of polyethylene (PE).
Alpla has about 21,600 employees globally involved in the production of bottles, caps and molded parts at 178 sites across 45 countries. The packaging produced is used in several applications, including food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning agents, pharmaceutical products, engine oils and lubricants.