Austria-based Alpla Group says it is acquiring BTB PET-Recycling, Bad Salzuflen, Germany, in an investment designed to further develop the region's bottle-to-bottle recycling loop. BTB processes used polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage bottles sourced from Germany's reverse-vending system into food-grade rPET (recycled PET) pellets that are primarily used to make new preforms for PET bottles, including beverage bottles.
First, BTB presorts, shreds and washes the input material, which is then sorted again prior to melting and pelletizing, resulting in food-grade rPET. The company’s processing volume is roughly 20,000 metric tons, or 22,000 short tons, of PET bottles annually, Alpla says. BTB employs approximately 35 people, all of whom Alpla says it will retain.
Georg Lässer, head of corporate recycling at Alpla, says, “BTB produces highly efficiently using established technology. The team in Bad Salzuflen is highly motivated and does a fantastic job. For us, buying this company is an investment in the future, enabling us to increase the existing capacities and further strengthen the bottle-to-bottle loop.”
“By acquiring BTB , we are investing in a very structured company which has been operating successfully within the local circular economy for years and which is already supplying our preform business in Germany with rPET,” adds Georg Pescher, managing director of Alpla in Germany. “What's pivotal here is a functioning system comprising a bottle return infrastructure, bottle production and bottling companies in the direct vicinity of the recycling plant.”
The parties signed the contract Sept. 28 and have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or any further details.
Alpla and its partners recently invested in the construction of a recycling plant in Targu Mures, Romania, through a joint venture, PET Recycling Team Targu Mures. The plastic granulate produced there will come from PET collected from household waste and will be used to manufacture new PET bottles. The company is targeting annual production of 15,000 metric tons, or more than 16,500 short tons, of food-grade rPET.
In the U.K., Alpla says it has been cooperating with the British waste management company Biffa to source food-grade rPET from Biffa’s recycling plant in Seaham.
In early 2021, the Alpla Group announced that it would invest an average of 50 million euros annually until 2025 in the ongoing expansion of its recycling activities. In particular, the company says it plans to globalize its activities in the area of high-quality recyclates to close the materials cycle in as many regions as possible. In all, the annual capacity of the Alpla’s recycling companies, joint ventures and partnerships amounts to approximately 130,000 metric tons, or 143,000 short tons, of PET and 60,000 metric tons, or 66,100 short tons of polyethylene.