Alpla Group announced it has invested more than €5 million in an extrusion system for food-grade recycled PET (rPET) at its site in Anagni, Italy. The location is home to one of the Alpla Group’s most important preform production plants, processing around 50,000 tonnes of PET a year.
While rPET currently represents only a small amount of that material, the percentage will rise significantly in the future, said Alpla, giving customers the option of sourcing preforms made partly or even entirely of rPET. To this end, Alpla is installing an extrusion system that can process 15,000 metric tons of rPET annually at the existing location. It is scheduled to go into operation in the second half of 2021. Ten new jobs will be created.
“We will buy 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,” said Fabio Mazzarella, Plant Manager. “Production of the recycled material right there in the processing operations results in attractive synergies in logistics and warehousing and potentially also energy.”
Georg Lasser, who leads corporate recycling at Alpla, considers the investment in central Italy to be a farsighted strategic decision. “We want to promote the bottle-to-bottle cycle and avoid downcycling,” he said. “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. The demand for recycled material currently can be managed well. But with this measure, we are ensuring that we can offer our customers optimum support with realizing new specifications and targets in the long term, too, and we can offer them top-quality recycled materials.”
A global supplier of plastic packaging, Alpla currently has around 21,600 employees worldwide who produce custom packaging systems, bottles, caps, and molds. It supplies packaging to companies providing food and beverage products, cosmetics, household detergent, washing, and cleaning agents, and more. Alpla operates its own recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Poland, and Spain, and in the form of joint ventures in Mexico and Germany.