New PET bottle recycling capacities in France and Poland a major boost to EU’s move towards circular economy

FRANCE – Europe’s move towards a circular economy has received a major boost following reports that Thailand-based company Indorama Ventures is planning to build a new recycling plant in France and a further expansion of two facilities in Poland.

The installations and expansions are aimed at boosting the company’s PET recycling and are inline with the company’s plans to invest US$1.5 billion globally to expand its recycling facilities.

Indorama Ventures has a target of processing a minimum of 750,000 metric tons of rPET globally by 2025.

The new plant in Verdun, and the expansion of recently acquired facilities in Bielsku-Białej and Łęczyc are a major step towards achieving this goal.

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François Lagrue, head of operations – Europe, Indorama Ventures recycling group, said: “Combined with our existing European facilities, Indorama Ventures will recycle almost 10 billion post-consumer PET plastic bottles in Europe per year, by 2023.”

“This new expanded capacity will mean that, in our facilities alone, an extra 1.7 billion more bottles will be recycled in 2023, compared with 2020. This will lend significant support in realising the EU’s plastic collection and recycling targets.”

“Combined with our existing European facilities, Indorama Ventures will recycle almost 10 billion post-consumer PET plastic bottles in Europe per year, by 2023.”

François Lagrue, head of operations – Europe, Indorama Ventures recycling group

Commenting on the investments by Indorama, Nicholas Hodac, director general of UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe said that the investment was a much-needed boost to Europe’s circular economy.

The circular economy in Europe was formally launched in 2018 following an agreement by the union’s government to foster efforts towards boosting recycling and cut waste.

As part of the new laws, recycling targets are set to increase gradually over the next 15 years and is expected to not only save the environment but also create opportunities for economic growth.

According to the report by Materials Economics, a more circular economy could reduce costs and create a value of over €500 billion a year by 2030.

 Europe’s soft drinks industry is working hard to drive sustainability throughout its value chain – from sourcing, production and distribution through to packaging, collection, recycling and reuse.

To this end, Hodac noted that, Indorama’s investment is “another proof point that circularity works in Europe. By delivering a closed-loop system we ensure that valuable secondary raw material is not wasted and we achieve a well-functioning EU market.”

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