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Comment Sustainability

ALPLA to acquire German PET recycler

By Mary Page Bailey |

ALPLA Group (Hard, Austria) is acquiring BTB PET-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, based in Bad Salzuflen, Germany. The company turns PET bottles into recycled material, which is then predominantly used for the production of new beverage bottles. Its bottle-to-bottle packaging cycle is a closed loop.

In acquiring BTB PET-Recycling, ALPLA is investing in further developing the region’s recycling loop. The company processes used PET beverage bottles sourced from Germany’s reverse vending system and turns them into food-grade rPET (recycled PET) pellets which are then primarily used for the manufacture of new preforms for PET bottles, including beverage bottles.

BTB stands for ‘bottle-to-bottle’, in other words a closed packaging loop that turns bottles collected in the region into new bottles. First, BTB pre-sorts, shreds and washes the input material, then sorts it again. It is then melted down in an extrusion process and turned into pellet form, resulting in valuable food-grade rPET. The processing volume is around 20,000 tons of PET bottles each year. The company has approximately 35 employees, all of whom will be kept on by ALPLA.

Georg Lässer, Head of Corporate Recycling at ALPLA, comments on what led to the acquisition: ‘BTB produces highly efficiently, using established technology. The team in Bad Salzuflen is highly motivated and does a fantastic job. For us, buying this company is an investment in the future, enabling us to increase the existing capacities and further strengthen the bottle-to-bottle loop.’

Georg Pescher, Managing Director of ALPLA in Germany, adds: ‘By acquiring BTB, we are investing in a very structured company which has been operating successfully within the local circular economy for years and which is already supplying our preform business in Germany with rPET. What’s pivotal here is a functioning system comprising a bottle return infrastructure, bottle production and bottling companies in the direct vicinity of the recycling plant.’

Recently, ALPLA and its partners announced the founding of the joint venture PET Recycling Team Targu Mures for the recycling of post-consumer PET bottles in Romania. The target is annual production of 15,000 tonnes of food-grade rPET to strengthen the local materials cycle in Central and South-Eastern Europe. In the UK, ALPLA has been cooperating with the British waste management company Biffa since this year and sources food-grade rPET pellets from the Biffa recycling plant in Seaham. With this collaboration, ALPLA is increasing the proportion of British recyclate used to manufacture packaging in the U.K.

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