Carbon-neutral Recycled PET

Austria-based ALPLA Group, is offering “the world’s first carbon-neutral recycled PET”.

The firm switched its PET Recycling Team plants in Wöllersdorf (Austria) and Radomsko (Poland) to a mix of electricity from renewable sources to produce climate-friendly rPET (= recycled polyethylene terephthalate). “This step has already had a big impact on the carbon footprint of our food-grade regranulate – according to the calculations, emissions are cut by up to 90 percent compared with virgin material,” Georg Lässer, Head of Recycling at ALPLA, is quoted. “The feedback from the market regarding this further development has been very good.”

Now, the recycling company and global manufacturer of plastic packaging across 46 countries is offering its customers carbon-neutral rPET based on the purchase of certificates. The remaining, unavoidable emissions relating, for example, to delivery of the input material to the plants are then offset with carbon certificates.

ALPLA operates its recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Poland, Spain and in joint ventures in Mexico and Germany. By signing the New Plastics Economy’s Global Commitment in October 2018, the company pledged to achieve certain goals by 2025: 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. A sum of 50 million Euro has been earmarked for ALPLA’s expansion of its recycling activities.

Projects with a social background
The multinational company has also selected specific projects in cooperation with the climate neutrality alliance “Klimaneutralitätsbündnis 2025” and the NGO Helioz. A reforestation project in Nicaragua is being supported. In China, traditional coal-fired stoves are being replaced with ovens run on biomass. “These not only vastly reduce emissions but also prevent the health implications caused by harmful exhaust air,” the firm underlined. In Ethiopia, 5,000 household packages (modern stoves, vegetable seeds, seedlings, training) are being financed. In regions in Asia and Africa, ALPLA is supporting the organization Helioz, which provides solar devices that monitor water disinfection using PET bottles.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2021, Page 40, Photo: ALPLA)