Production starts at ALPLA PET recycling plant

Romania unit supplies 18,000 tonnes of recycled plastic a year

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ALPLA
ALPLA, Ecohelp SRL (Romania) and United Polymer Trading AG (Switzerland) have commenced operations at their first PET recycling plant in Targu Mures, Romania.

The ALPLA Group, together with its joint venture partners Ecohelp and UPT, has opened its first PET recycling plant in Romania after a construction time of nine months and investment of around 7.5 million Euros. The state-of-the-art plant is now producing around 18,000 tonnes of recycled material per year from household waste. The joint undertaking PET Recycling Team Targu Mures supplies the southeast European market with food-grade rPET and promotes the circular economy in the region.

Around 18,000 tonnes of post-consumer-recycled PET (rPET) per year – the packaging and recycling specialist ALPLA, Ecohelp SRL (Romania) and United Polymer Trading AG (Switzerland) begin production at their joint recycling plant in Targu Mures. The three companies invested around 7.5 million Euros in the construction and equipping of the plant on an adjacent site to the existing Ecohelp site in Targu Mures. Now, the first extrusion line for the production of high-quality rPET granulate from PET flakes has entered into operation. The joint venture partners will host the official opening ceremony on 4 May 2023.

“The growing importance of local recycling processes calls for increased commitment in the region. Together with our partners, we combine strengths, increase the processing quality of the recycled PET material and ensure the long-term supply of the southeast European market,” says Georg Lässer, director of Business Development, Procurement and Sales Recycling at ALPLA. Expansion potential has already been identified – the plant has space for a second extrusion line, which would double capacity.

Successful partnership

The joint venture, which was established in autumn 2021, combines the skill sets of the three companies involved. ALPLA brings its many years of expertise as a global recycling specialist and packaging manufacturer, while United Polymer Trading (UPT) has an extensive distribution network for plastics and recycled material. The local company Ecohelp supplies the material in the form of recycled PET flakes based on PET bottles from household waste. The food-grade rPET granulate obtained from this process then serves as the starting material for new preforms and bottles.

“The collaboration is a great example of how to improve local recycling and ensure sustainable economic development. We are filling a gap in the market for high-quality recycled material in Romania and neighbouring countries,” says Mihail Moloiu, general manager at PET Recycling Team Targu Mures. The new recycling plant has created around 20 new jobs.

Global expansion of recycling activities

ALPLA is investing 50 million Euros a year until 2025 in the ongoing expansion of its recycling activities. With its activities for the production of high-quality recycled materials, the global company is promoting complete recycling in as many parts of the world as possible. In total, the annual production capacity of ALPLA’s recycling companies and collaborations around the world amounts to approximately 203,000 tonnes of rPET and 74,000 tonnes of rHDPE.

ALPLA is one of the world’s leading companies in the manufacture and reuse of plastic packaging. Around 23,300 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, caps and molded parts at 190 sites in 46 countries. The packaging is used in a wide range of areas, including for food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household cleaning products, detergents and cleaning agents, pharmaceutical products, engine oils and lubricants. ALPLA operates recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Romania and Thailand.

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