Leading recycling company Extrupet doubles capacity with new US$20.5m facility

SOUTH AFRICA – One of the pioneering recycling companies in Africa, Extrupet, is set to double its food-grade plastic recycling operations in South Africa with establishment of fourth recycled PET (rPET) facility.

The new facility is expected to increase the company’s recycling capacity by an additional 33,000 tons per year, doubling their food grade operations capacity to over 60,000 tons per annum.

Phase 1 of this expansion tagged at a cost of approximately R300 million (US$20.5m) will be fully operational in 2023.

Other than beefing up the company’s capacity from the current 5 million PET bottles every day, the investment will also create additional jobs in the PET bottle collection industry.

Chandru Wadhwani, Joint Managing Director at Extrupet said, “The demand for food-grade recycling keeps on increasing, especially as retailers and consumers alike opt for more environmentally friendly options.

 “Currently, only 60% of South Africa’s plastic bottles are recycled. With this increased capacity, we will be able to accommodate more of South Africa’s plastic waste and strengthen South Africa’s position as a circular economy leader in Africa and the world”.

Extrupet’s recycled PET (rPET) is sold under its brand name PhoenixPET, which has received international acclaim and is certified by the European Food Safety Authority, Global Recycled Standard, BRC Packaging (AA rating) and ISO 9001:2015. 

The company was the first on the continent to use global FMCG approved technology to recycle PET bottles into resin for reuse in new carbonated soft drink bottles.

Its other prominent clients include major food and beverage companies, convertors and retailers.

Extrupet is also the first company in the recycling industry to switch to use of renewable energy to power its facility.

Mid-last year, the recycler launched its brand new 1.3MWp solar power plant with an annual generation capacity of 2GWh.

The plant will reduce its carbon emissions by 1,800 tonnes every year, which is equal to the carbon sequestered by just under 31,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

In addition, it is set to bring down electricity costs by an estimated 30% from the first month and savings of around R130m (US$9m) to R140m (US$9.7m) over the course of the lifecycle of the solar plant.

Extrupet has also been at the forefront in introducing ground-breaking solutions such as the wash-off label adhesive placed on bottles.

The invention which renders the plastic bottles fully recyclable, was established in partnership with PETCO, drinking water bottler Oasis Water, label manufacturer UPM Raflatac and label printers Java Print.

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