ALPLA To Build South Africa PET Recycling Plant
The Austrian firm will invest €60 million in the project.
Austria's ALPLA Group has announced plans to build a plastics recycling plant in the South African coastal town of Ballito in the province of KwaZulu Natal.
The facility will have the capacity to recycle 60,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. This will create 35,000 t/y of mechanically recycled PET (rPET) flakes and pellets which will then be used to make new bottles.
It will be ALPLA’s first recycling plant in Africa. Construction of the facility will begin imminently and will be completed by in late 2024. The total investment cost is estimated at €60 million (US$65 million).
“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 sustainable packaging worldwide and at the same time promote awareness of the recyclable material,” stated ALPLA CEO Philipp Lehner.
ALPLA will partner with a local company to set up the plant.
The recycled products market is growing in South Africa, along with the gradual expansion of nationwide waste collection systems.
“Together with the Producer Responsibility Organisation 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 sensitisation of society and the avoidance of landfills for years,” said Mike Resnicek, ALPLA's finance and commercial director for Africa, Middle East and Turkey, and director and board member of PETCO.
The new plant will employ around 100 people. ALPLA says the development of the regional collection system will generate more than 10,000 indirect jobs in the coming years.
ALPLA has bottle manufacturing sites at seven locations in Sub-Saharan Africa - in South Africa, Mauritius and Angola. In November 2022, the firm opened its second plant in Angola.
Photo: The Ballito plant (Supplied by ALPLA)