FRANCE – Indorama Ventures, one of the world’s leading producers in the intermediate petrochemicals industry, has enhanced its PET recycling capabilities with the acquisition of France-based Sorepla Industrie for an undisclosed fee.

According to FoodBev, Sorepla Industrie operates a single recycling facility in France which boasts three production lines; one for recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), one for recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE) and finally a line for food-grade pellets.

The facility is capable of processing 52,000 tonnes of material every year, and Indorama claims that the facility will bolster its position in the packaging market amid rising demand for rPET packaging, as manufacturers seek more sustainable packaging solutions.

rPET is used for both food and beverage packaging, and figures supplied by Indorama claim that demand for rPET is outstripping supply, as demand for food-grade rPET in Western Europe “is expected to grow at a rate of 7% from 2018-2021.”

“Indorama Ventures plays a key role in promoting the circular economy and environmental sustainability globally.

We believe that the recycling of PET packaging is one of the most responsible solutions for the preservation of resources and the reduction of PET containers in landfills.

Indorama Ventures is playing its part and investing in recycling solutions globally,” said Aloke Lohia, group CEO of Indorama Ventures.

“With a comprehensive European network for bottle sourcing and good supply chain efficiencies, we feel that this acquisition will contribute as an attractive platform for strong future growth in the sustainable recycling business with the potential to expand globally.”

Earlier this year, Indorama Ventures and Unilever had partnered with Ioniqa, a high-tech chemical company and producer of PET resin Indorama Ventures to develop a technology that would allow recycling of plastic waste into virgin grade material for the food industry.

Unilever said that upon successful prove at industrial scale, the technology will allow 100% recycling of PET into high quality, food-grade packaging, having seen only 20% of plastic waste into recycling worldwide.