Austrian plastic packaging manufacturer and recycling specialist Alpla Group says that it has successfully achieved carbon-neutral production of recycled PET.
This was made possible when Alpla’s switching the energy supply of its PET Recycling Team plants in Wöllersdorf, Austria, and Radomsko, Poland, to electricity from a mix of renewable sources.
Any remaining emissions relating, for example, to delivery of the input material to the plants, are then offset with carbon certificates.
The company is now offering its customers carbon-neutral recycled PET based on the purchase of certificates. Already, however, the move has impacted strongly on the carbon footprint of the food-grade recyclate it produce.
“According to the calculations, emissions are cut by up to 90 per cent compared with virgin material. The feedback from the market regarding this further development has been very good,” said Georg Lässer, head of recycling at Alpla.
Alpla signed the New Plastics Economy’s Global Commitment in October 2018, pledging that all packaging solutions are to be fully recyclable and the volume of recycled materials is to increase to 25 percent of the total materials used, by 2025. The company has earmarked the 50 million euros ($59 million) for the expansion of its recycling activities.
“The world’s first carbon-neutral regranulate can make a significant contribution to climate protection and highlight the value of used plastics,” Lässer said.
The recycled PET is available as clear or with blue or green coloring.
Alpla is one of the leading companies involved in plastic packaging. Around 20,800 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, caps and moulded parts at 181 sites across 46 countries. Alpla already operates its own recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Poland and Spain, and in the form of joint ventures in Mexico and Germany.