Indorama acquires French plastics recycler

France’s Sorepla Industrie recycles PET and HDPE.

Thailand-based chemicals producer Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL) has entered into an agreement to acquire Sorepla Industrie S.A., a plastics recycling company based in France.

Sorepla, founded in 1991, operates a facility in Neufchateau, France, with three production lines: one that handles recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), one producing recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE) and one line for food-grade pellets. Combined, the three lines have a capacity of 52,00 metric tons of plastic per year.

According to IVL, the acquisition is part of its long-term sustainability plan and is a way to help it “further solidify” its position as one of the leaders in plastics recycling in Europe.

IVL says it already has a recycling presence in France through its subsidiary Wellman France Recyclage, but the acquisition of Sorepla gives it additional capabilities to deliver food-grade rPET to serve increasing demand among major brand owners for more sustainable packaging solutions.

RPET is widely used for food and beverage packaging as well as for fiber applications in Europe, a sector in which IVL says it holds a leadership supplier position. The demand for food-grade rPET in Western Europe is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7 percent between 2018 and 2021, and demand is currently outstripping supply, according to IVL.

A growing emphasis on sustainability and circular economy objectives among packaging and consumer product manufacturers is expected to be among the factors driving market growth.

“We believe that the recycling of PET packaging is one of the most responsible solutions for the preservation of resources and the reduction of PET containers in landfills,” says Aloke Lohia, group CEO of Indorama Ventures.

“With a comprehensive European network for bottle sourcing and good supply chain efficiencies, we feel that this acquisition will contribute as an attractive platform for strong future growth in the sustainable recycling business with the potential to expand globally,” Lohia adds.