Green updates: Alpla expands recycling plant in Poland; Ineos Styrolution, EGN and Tomra to build PS recycling facility in Germany

Alpla expands recycling plant in Poland

Packaging specialist Alpla says it is securing the long-term supply of food-grade PET recycling material (rPET) by expanding the recycling plant in Radomsko, Poland. It invested EUR8 million euros in an extrusion line. Ten years after its opening, the PET Recycling Team (PRT) Radomsko is one of the largest recycling plants for this material in Europe with a production capacity of 54,000 tonnes/year of food-grade rPET pellets.

By 2025, all PET beverage bottles in the EU should contain at least 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material. With the expansion of the site in Poland, Alpla says it is creating the basis for meeting the EU requirements in the regional markets.

The installation of the third extrusion line in Radomsko will create twelve additional jobs and expand the team to more than 100 employees.

Alpla adds it invests around EUR50 million annually in the global expansion of its recycling activities. With lighthouse projects such as reusable PET, bottles made from 100% rPET and the recent start of production at the joint venture recycling plants Envicco (Thailand) and PET Recycling Team Targu Mures (Romania), the company is fully on track.

This was followed in June 2023 by the announcement of the first recycling plant in Africa in Ballito, South Africa. The total annual production capacity of all recycling companies and collaborations is around 266,000 tonnes for rPET (recycled PET) and 74,000 tonnes for rHDPE (recycled HDPE).

Ineos Styrolution, EGN and Tomra to build PS recycling facility in Germany

In other news, styrenics maker Ineos Styrolution, waste recycling machinery supplier Tomra and recycler EGN Entsorgungsgesellschaft Niederrhein, will tie up for what they say is a ground-breaking project to convert post-consumer polystyrene (PS) waste into recycled polystyrene for food packaging applications.

EGN, a subsidiary of the SWK AG, will build a green field advanced mechanical recycling facility processing with a capacity to process 40 kilotonnes/year of post-consumer polystyrene (PS) waste. It is expected to be the first large-scale facility of its kind. EGN will manage sorting and washing, while Ineos Styrolution will be responsible for the “super-cleaning” purification process to comply with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requirements for food contact applications.

The new facility will be located in Krefeld, Germany. It is expected to start up in mid-2025, allowing Ineos Styrolution to start serving customers at commercial scale.

An agreement with Tomra to provide sorting technology and feedstock completes the project. Tomra Feedstock will collect post-consumer polystyrene waste from disposed food packaging and deliver it to the new site in Krefeld, Germany.

The advanced mechanical recycling process benefits from the inherent properties of polystyrene making it the material of choice for real circularity.

PS is proven to be one of the best sortable plastics in the waste stream and is one of only two polymers that can achieve food-contact qualities with mechanical recycling. The material offers infinite recyclability, retaining its property profile after many mechanical recycling cycles at virgin quality levels. Due to its properties, PS offers very low contamination uptake in the waste stream.

It is expected that a significant percentage of recycled food packaging material will be realised in a very short timeframe. Investment in commercial scaling of PS recycling will lead to a growing market share and a reduction in packaging taxes and licensing fees in countries where such frameworks are in place.


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