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Alpla enters South African recycling market with €60M investment


Alpla enters South African recycling market with €60M investment

Alpla is building a recycling plant in Ballito, South Africa, which will mechanically recycle almost 60,000 metric tons of PET bottles per year, producing 35,000 metric tons of rPET flakes and pellets annually, the majority of which Alpla will process to produce its beverage bottles. 

Source: PackagingInsights

Construction will start this summer and completion is planned for autumn 2024. The plant is part of Alpla’s €60 million (US$65 million) investment in strengthening the region’s circular economy.  

The plant for recycling used PET bottles will be built on a 90,000-square-meter site. It is the first investment in a food-grade PET recycling facility in South Africa’s second-largest province (KwaZulu Natal) by population and a key investment for the region.

Our goal is a bottle-to-bottle cycle at the location of our activities. In this way, as a recycler and producer, we can secure the supply of safe, affordable and [environmentally] sustainable packaging worldwide and at the same time promote awareness of the recyclable material. 

Philipp Lehner, CEO, Alpla

The new plant will increase the annual production capacity of all Alpla recycling companies and cooperations to around 238,000 metric tons for rPET and 74,000 metric tons for recycled HDPE.

Partnering for circularity

The packaging and recycling specialist is strengthening its commitment in southern Africa. After opening its new headquarters in Lanseria near Johannesburg in autumn 2022, the company is now announcing the construction of its first own recycling plant in the country. 

Together with the producer responsibility organization Petco, who identified KwaZulu Natal as an opportunity for enterprise development and other key stakeholders, Alpla has been supporting the development of the collection value chain, the sensitization of society and the avoidance of landfills for years. Local know-how combined with a sound understanding of the cultural and economic landscape is key for such a large-scale project.

Mike Resnicek, Alpla’s finance and commercial director Africa, Middle East and Turkey, and director and member of the board of Petco

Similarly as in most other parts of the world, the market for high-quality products made from recycled materials is growing in South Africa. This increasing demand is accompanied by the gradual expansion of nationwide collection systems, says Alpla.

This investment in a further bottle-to-bottle plant in South Africa, particularly with a local partner, is welcome news. We need additional offtake for the growing number of post-consumer bottles that we are unlocking nationally, which also complements our transformation strategy.

Cheri Scholtz, CEO, Petco

The new plant in Ballito will employ around 100 people. The development of the regional collection system is also expected to generate more than 10,000 indirect jobs in the coming years.

By setting up the first recycling resources of our own in Africa, we are equipping ourselves for the future, contributing to increasing the collection rate and reducing waste by recycling valuable raw materials. At the same time, we are creating many new jobs locally. 

Dietmar Marin, Managing Director of the Recycling Division, Alpla

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