After a construction time of nine months and investment of around 7.5 million euros, Austrian plastics manufacturer and recycler Alpla, together with its partners Ecohelp SRL (Romania) and United Polymer Trading AG (Switzerland), have started production at their joint recycling plant in Targu Mures, Romania. The plant, located adjacent to the existing Ecohelp site in Targu Mures, has an annual capacity of around 18,000 tonnes of post-consumer-recycled PET (rPET) per year and aims to supply the southeast European market with food-grade rPET. The project has led to the creation of around 20 new jobs.
The joint venture partners will host the official opening ceremony on 4 May 2023.
"The growing importance of local recycling processes calls for increased commitment in the region. Together with our partners, we combine strengths, increase the processing quality of the recycled PET material and ensure the long-term supply of the southeast European market,’ said Georg Lässer, Director Business Development, Procurement and Sales Recycling at Alpla.
With the first rPET extrusion line in operation, already, the potential for expansion is being explored, as the plant has space for a second extrusion line, which would double capacity.
The present joint venture was established in autumn 2021, with each partner bringing to the venture their own specific skill set. Alpla is contributing its many years of expertise as a global recycling specialist and packaging manufacturer to the partnership; in the case of United Polymer Trading (UPT), the endeavour is benefitting from that company’s extensive distribution network for plastics and recycled material. Locally-based Ecohelp supplies the input material in the form of recycled PET flakes from PET bottles from household waste. The food-grade rPET granulate obtained from this process then serves as the starting material for new preforms and bottles.
The facility fills a gap in the market for high-quality recycled material in Romania and neighbouring countries, according to Mihail Moloiu, General Manager at PET Recycling Team Targu Mures. In addition, the new recycling plant has created around 20 new jobs.
Alpla is investing 50 million euros a year until 2025 in the ongoing expansion of its recycling activities and promotion of complete recycling in as many parts of the world as possible. In total, the annual production capacity of Alpla’s recycling companies and collaborations around the world amounts to approximately 203,000 tonnes of rPET and 74,000 tonnes of rHDPE.