M&As: Alpla acquires German PET recycler and takes over Spanish bottle manufacturer Plastisax

Improving machine learning for design of plastic materials

Packaging firm Alpla Group says it is acquiring BTB PET-Recycling based in Bad Salzuflen. The company turns PET bottles into recycled material, which is then predominantly used for the production of new beverage bottles. Its bottle-to-bottle packaging cycle is a closed loop.

In acquiring BTB PET-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG based in Bad Salzuflen in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Alpla adds it is investing in further developing the region’s recycling loop. The company processes used PET beverage bottles sourced from Germany’s reverse vending system and turns them into food-grade rPET (recycled PET) pellets which are then primarily used for the manufacture of new preforms for PET bottles, including beverage bottles.

BTB stands for ‘bottle-to-bottle’, in other words a closed packaging loop that turns bottles collected in the region into new bottles. First, BTB pre-sorts, shreds and washes the input material, then sorts it again. It is then melted down in an extrusion process and turned into pellet form, resulting in valuable food-grade rPET. The processing volume is around 20,000 tonnes/year of PET bottles. The company has approximately 35 employees, all of whom will be kept on by Alpla.

The parties signed the contract on 28 September 2021. They have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or any further details.

Just recently, Alpla and its partners announced the founding of the joint venture PET Recycling Team Targu Mures for the recycling of post-consumer PET bottles in Romania. The target is annual production of 15,000 tonnes of food-grade rPET to strengthen the local materials cycle in Central and South-Eastern Europe. In the UK, Alpla has been cooperating with the British waste management company Biffa since this year and sources food-grade rPET pellets from the Biffa recycling plant in Seaham. With this collaboration, Alpla is increasing the proportion of British recyclate used to manufacture packaging in the UK.

In early 2021, Alpla announced that it would invest an average of EUR50 million a year until 2025 in the ongoing expansion of its recycling activities. In particular, it plans to globalise its activities in the area of high-quality recyclates in order to close the materials cycle in as many regions as possible. In all, the annual capacity of the Alpla recycling companies, joint ventures and partnerships amounts to approximately 130,000 tonnes of PET and 60,000 tonnes of PE.

Improving machine learning for design of plastic materials

Meanwhile in related news, Alpla says it is taking over Plastisax S.L, a Spanish company produces plastic bottles for the cosmetics, home and personal care segments. The takeover will enable an increased use of recycled material in production operations and a strengthening of the circular economy in the region.

With the purchase of the Spanish bottle manufacturer Plastisax S.L. based in the province of Alicante, Alpla says it is consolidating its market position in eastern Spain and expanding its production capacities mainly for packaging solutions made from the plastic HDPE (high-density polyethylene). A smaller product area also includes bottles made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate). EBM (extrusion blow moulding) and SBM (stretch blow moulding) are used as production technologies. The company has 58 employees who will be taken over by Alpla.

Marc de Voogd, General Manager France & Iberia at Alpla, says: ‘With the integration of Plastisax into our group, we are expanding our customer base and improving our geographical footprint to serve our regionally based customers even better. With the new location near Alicante, we are now very well positioned along the Mediterranean coast in addition to the existing plants near Barcelona and Valencia.’

Alpla plans to increasingly manufacture products with a high proportion of post-consumer recycling material (PCR) in the new plant. ‘Plastisax already offers its customers sustainable packaging made from recycled HDPE and recycled PET as well as bio-based PE. Alpla has significant experience in these fields and is able to provide recycled material from its own plants,’ de Voogd says of the resulting synergies. In autumn 2019, ALPLA bought two HDPE recycling companies near Barcelona and Valladolid. They ensure the supply of the production facilities in the region with PCR and contribute to strengthening the local bottle-to-bottle circular economy cycle.

The contracting parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or other details.


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