ROMANIA – Austrian packaging firm, ALPLA Group in a joint venture with Ecohelp and United Polymer Trading, has opened its first PET recycling plant in Romania.
The new plant, which has taken nine months and around €7.5 million (US$8.16m) to construct, is now operating its first extrusion line for the production of high-quality rPET granulate from PET flakes.
The joint venture partners – known collectively as PET Recycling Team Targu Mures – will hold an official opening ceremony for the Târgu Mureș-based facility on 4th May 2023.
Within the joint venture, the three companies contribute towards a shared goal of plastic circularity with their respective areas of expertise; ALPLA as a global packaging manufacturer, United Polymer Trading in the distribution of plastics and recycled material, and Ecohelp in providing recycled PET flakes.
The resultant rPET granulate is then expected to be used in the production of new preforms and bottles.
According to the companies, the new facility has a capacity of producing around 18,000 tonnes of recycled material from household waste every year and supply food-grade rPET for the southeast European market.
Georg Lässer, director of Business Development, Procurement and Sales Recycling at ALPLA said: “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.
“Expansion potential has already been identified – the plant has space for a second extrusion line, which would double capacity.”
Mihail Moloiu, general manager at PET Recycling Team Targu Mures added: “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 neighboring countries.”
Moving forward, ALPLA has pledged to invest €50 million (US$54.40m) per year until 2025 to expand its recycling operations.
The Austrian company is encouraging comprehensive recycling in as many regions of the world for the creation of high-quality recycled materials.
Currently, the annual production capacity of ALPLA’s recycling companies and partnerships around the world total 203,000 metric tonnes of rPET and 74,000 metric tons of recycled high-density polyethylene.