The ALPLA Group is investing more than €5 million in an extrusion system for food-grade recycled PET (rPET) made of used PET bottles at its site in Anagni, Italy.

The site is home to one of the 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 currently only a very small proportion is recycled material.

To this end, ALPLA is installing an extrusion system for 15,000 tonnes of rPET a year at the existing business premises, which is scheduled to go into operation in the second half of 2021. Ten new jobs will also 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 on-site in the processing operations will result in positive synergies in logistics and warehousing, and potentially also energy.

Georg Lässer, head of corporate recycling at ALPLA, adds: “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.”