POLAND – Austrian packaging solution provider ALPLA has invested €8 million (US$8.7m) to expand the capacity of its PET Recycling Team (PRT) plant in Radomsko, Poland.

ALPLA says that this investment will be used to build the third extrusion line at the site to increase the production capacity from 30,000 to 54,000 tonnes of food-grade PET recycling material (rPET).

The increased capacity is expected to make PRT Radomsko one of the largest recycling plants of its kind in Europe, the packaging firm claimed.

ALPLA Recycling Division managing director Dietmar Marin said: “ALPLA stands for sustainable packaging solutions made of plastic.

“As a system provider, we develop products optimized for recycling, process high proportions of recyclate in production and take care of efficient recycling.

“With our global focus on recycling and our commitment in Central and Eastern Europe, we make a significant contribution to the regional bottle-to-bottle cycle.”

The expansion of the Poland site will also help the packaging firm to meet the European Union (EU) requirements of a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material in all PET beverage bottles.

The addition of a third extrusion line is also expected to generate 12 new job opportunities and expand the team to more than 100 employees.

PRT Radomsko plant manager Marcin Jabłoński said: “PRT Radomsko has stood for top quality and excellent operational performance for over ten years.

“The expansion of the site is a confirmation of our highly motivated team and strengthens our position in the market.”

Alpla invests around €50 million (US$54.85m) annually in the global expansion of its recycling activities, including the recent start of production at joint venture recycling plants ENVICCO (Thailand) and PET Recycling Team Targu Mures (Romania).

The total annual production capacity of all recycling companies and collaborations is around 226,000 tonnes for rPET and 74,000 tonnes for rHDPE.

Last month, the company invested US$65.59 million (€60m) in a new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant in Ballito, in the South African province of KwaZulu Natal.

Situated near Durban, the Ballito plant will be constructed on a 90,000m² site. The construction is expected to start in the summer of 2023 and completion is planned for autumn next year.

The plant will mark ALPLA’s entry into the African recycling market and is said to be the first investment in a food-grade PET recycling facility in KwaZulu Natal province.

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