The global manufacturer of plastic packaging and recycling specialist, the ALPLA Group, is investing more than five million euros in an extrusion system for food-grade recycled PET (rPET) made of used PET bottles (so-called post-consumer material) at its site in Anagni.
Anagni in central Italy is home to one of the ALPLA Group’s most important preform production plants. The plant, which currently has a workforce of 91, processes around 50,000 tonnes of PET a year, of which only a very small proportion is recycled material as of today. But in future a substantial portion of the volume required is henceforth to be supplied in the form of recycled material, giving customers the option of sourcing preforms made partly or even entirely of rPET.
To this end, ALPLA is installing an extrusion system for 15,000 tonnes of rPET a year at the existing business premises. The investment sum for construction of the building needed and for the system totals more than five million euros. It is scheduled to go into operation in the second half of 2021. Ten new jobs will be created.
‘We will buy in 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,’ says Fabio Mazzarella, Plant Manager in Anagni. According to Mazzarella, production of the recycled material right there in the processing operations results in attractive synergies in logistics and warehousing and potentially also energy.
Boosting the circular economy
Georg Lässer, Head of Corporate Recycling at ALPLA, considers the investment in central Italy to be a foresighted strategic decision. ‘We want to promote the bottle-to-bottle cycle and avoid downcycling. 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 recycling expert explains. The demand for recycled material can currently be managed well. ‘But with this measure, we are ensuring that we can offer our customers optimum support with realising new specifications and targets in the long term too and that we can offer them top-quality recycled materials.’