Indorama Ventures pcl (IVL), the world’s largest producer of recycled PET for beverage bottles, says its acquisition of an 85% equity stake in the PET plastic recycler, UCY Polymers CZ, will allow it to recycle over 1.6 billion PET beverage bottles per year by 2025.

IVL says that, as a result of the investment, it will recycle around 1.12 billion additional post-consumer PET plastic bottles in the Czech Republic every year by 2025, reportedly increasing the total amount of bottles recycled by UCY across the Czech Republic, Germany, and Central Europe to 1.6 billion bottles per year.

According to IVL, UCY is a “strategic fit” as a backward integration into the company’s expanding recycled PET footprint in Europe and will help it to secure feedstock for rPET products. UCY adds that it can produce 40,000 tonnes of rPET flake per year.

UCY will work with IVL’s existing PET flake production facilities in the region, which provide the washed and shredded post-consumer bottles as PET flake feedstock to produce recycled PET resin that is suitable for food contact use. IVL intends to develop UCY to serve the increasing demand for rPET in Europe, with a number of key players in the European beverage industry, in particular, calling for priority availability of recycled and food-grade materials.

D K Agarwal, CEO and CFO at Indorama Ventures, comments: “IVL will use our know-how to grow capacity and recycle more and more bottles.

“As part of our commitment to sustainability and the circular economy, we are building the recycling infrastructure needed to divert PET waste from the environment.

“By recycling post-consumer PET bottles into new bottles, we give waste an economic value. This drives improvements in waste collection systems, meaning less waste and a cleaner environment.”

Yash Lohia, chairman of ESG Council at Indorama Ventures, adds: “Our partnership will strengthen the recycling ecosystem in the Czech Republic.

“This growth is made possible because of our customers’ commitment to bottle-to-bottle recycling, which allows us to build the recycling infrastructure Europe needs.”

Maximilian Josef Söllner, CEO of UCY, concludes: “We look forward to adding our robust supply of post-consumer bottles, well-established technology and proven management team to IVL.

“Expanding our capacity by 2025 means an extra 896 million more bottles will be recycled in our facilities compared with today.”

So far this year, rPET prices have recorded an all-time high, according to ICIS, with collaborations between Trinseo and Heathland BV and Biffa and Esterform just some of the ways companies are seeking to secure the supply of feedstock. Indorama Ventures also recently announced a partnership with Carbios on a manufacturing plant that will use the latter’s enzymatic PET recycling technology, with the aim to be operational by 2025.