ALPLA Group, a global manufacturer of plastic packaging and recycling, announced it is investing more than €5 million in an extrusion system for food-grade recycled PET (rPET) made of post-consumer PET bottles at its site in Anagni, Italy.

Anagni is in central Italy and 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 a substantial portion of the volume required in the future will need 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. 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.

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 demand for recycled material can currently be managed well, he says, “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 that we can offer them top-quality recycled materials.”

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