Packaging manufacturer Alpla Group set to build high-density polyethylene recycling plant

MEXICO – Alpla Group, a packaging manufacturer, has announced that it is building a plant in Toluca, Mexico for recycling high-density polyethylene (HDPE). As designed, the plant will be able to produce 15,000 metric tons of recycled-content HDPE made from post-consumer materials, says the family-owned company.

HDPE is used for a range of food and non-food uses, such as milk and juice bottles. Alpla moved into the field of HDPE recycling last year with the acquisition of two Spanish recycling companies, Suminco and Replacal.

“Alpla has been demonstrating forward-looking action in the field of recycling for many years,” said Georg Lässer, head of recycling at Alpla.

“We invest in regions where the demand for recycled material is not yet that high. In doing this, we give used plastics value and act as role models for the achievement of the circular economy.”

“This is how we generate demand among collection companies and support the development of the necessary infrastructure. In addition, we can offer our regional customers the ‘circularity’ demanded of recyclable materials,”

Carlos Torres – regional manager, ALPLA’s Mexico

ALPLA says it investing about €15 million (US$17.8 million) in a facility that will employ 65 people and operate as a 100-percent subsidiary of ALPLA.

The firm says the recycled-content HDPE produced in Toluca will be used for non-food applications, “for example for packaging solutions for personal care or household cleaning products.”

“This is how we generate demand among collection companies and support the development of the necessary infrastructure. In addition, we can offer our regional customers the ‘circularity’ demanded of recyclable materials,” said Carlos Torres, ALPLA’s Mexico regional manager.

The target markets for collecting scrap and using the material produced will be “primarily Mexico, neighboring countries in Central America and the United States,” adds ALPLA.

ALPLA has already been engaged in recycling post-consumer PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in Mexico since building bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in 2005, along with with Industria Mexicana de Reciclaje (IMER). IMER is a joint venture between ALPLA México, Coca-Cola México and Coca-Cola Femsa.

At that plant, the partners produce nearly 15,000 metric tons of food-grade rPET made from post-consumer PET each year.

ALPLA is a plastic packaging firm with more than 20,000 employees worldwide that has invested to increase its involvement in the production of post-consumer resins (PCR). The company produces packaging at more than 180 sites in 46 countries.

The partners have established infrastructure for collecting and recycling used PET beverage bottles, and Alpla says that it is seeking to utilise this network and experience in its development of HDPE recycling in the region.

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