Austria-based Alpla Group says it is in the process of building a plant in Toluca, Mexico, for recycling HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic. As designed, the plant will be able to produce 15,000 metric tons of recycled-content HDPE made from postconsumer materials, the family-owned company says.
Alpla says it investing about 15 million euros ($17.8 million) in a facility that will employ 65 people and operate as a 100 percent subsidiary of Alpla. The firm says the recycled-content HDPE produced in Toluca will be used for nonfood applications, “for example for packaging solutions for personal care or household cleaning products.” The target markets for collecting scrap and using the material produced will be “primarily Mexico, neighboring countries in Central America and the United States,” Alpla adds.
“Alpla has been demonstrating forward-looking action in the field of recycling for many years,” comments Georg Lässer, the company’s head of recycling. “We invest in regions where the demand for recycled material is not yet that high. In doing this, we give used plastics value and act as role models for the achievement of the circular economy.”
Carlos Torres, Alpla’s Mexico regional manager, says, “This is how we generate demand among collection companies and support the development of the necessary infrastructure. In addition, we can offer our regional customers the ‘circularity’ demanded of recyclable materials.”
Alpla has already been engaged in recycling postconsumer PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in Mexico since building a bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in 2005, along with Industria Mexicana de Reciclaje (IMER). IMER is a joint venture between Alpla México, Coca-Cola México and Coca-Cola Femsa.
At that plant, the partners produce nearly 15,000 metric tons of food-grade rPET made from post-consumer PET each year.
Alpla is a plastic packaging firm with more than 20,000 employees worldwide that has invested to increase its involvement in the production of postconsumer resins (PCR). The company produces packaging at more than 180 sites in 46 countries. It operates PET and HDPE recycling plants in Austria, Poland and Spain and is part of PCR joint ventures in Mexico and Germany.