Impact of new legislation on requirements for plastic packaging
Vlotho-Exter, 15th June 2018 – ALPLA, the Austrian packaging solutions specialist, held the first sustainability days at its Vlotho-Exter location. Over two days, plastics experts and sustainability officers welcomed around 20 customer representatives for individual discussions.
The plastics industry, and the packaging industry in particular, is currently facing major challenges: it's not just consumers who are increasingly vociferous in demanding sustainable products. Legislation on an European and national level is also paving the way for a circular economy. ‘This change affects the entire value chain. In order for us to be able to support customers in their sustainability strategy, we have to understand their expectations,’ explains Georg Pescher. As plant manager, Pescher’s role involves managing the Vlotho-Exter location. Alongside his colleagues, he introduced the first ALPLA sustainability days.
CO2 reduction and innovative plastics
Selected customer representatives received questionnaires in the run-up to the event. ‘Our aim was to find out how important sustainability is to our customers. But we also wanted to find out what changes they expect as a result of the new legislation,’ says Pescher. The results speak for themselves: recycling, alternative materials such as bio-based plastics, and the reduction of CO2 emissions were some of the most popular topics in the individual discussions.
‘Sustainability is no longer a passing trend or merely a marketing tool. It is an important issue for all our customers. We are expecting a lot of exciting projects in this area,’ says the plant manager.
ALPLA banks on recycling
‘The EU’s plastics strategy and the new packaging legislation require a higher rate of recycling in plastic packaging. ALPLA has been working with recycling for over 25 years. Our many years of experience in processing recycled plastics is now very welcome to our customers,’ says Pescher.
ALPLA operates three of its own recycling plants, in Austria, Poland, and a joint venture in Mexico, with an operating capacity of 65,000 tonnes of food-grade rPET each year. The majority are recycled into new bottles in the spirit of the circular economy. ‘Recycling technology is now so advanced that our colleagues at the Wöllersdorf location can produce recycled PET with just a tenth of the greenhouse gas emissions of new PET products,’ explains Pescher. This enables the recycling industry to make a major contribution to achieving global CO2 targets.
More information: www.alpla.com
ALPLA is one of the leading companies in plastic packaging. Around 19,300 employees worldwide produce custom-made packaging systems, bottles, closures and moulded parts at 176 sites across 45 countries. The high-quality packaging is used in a wide range of areas, including for food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning agents, engine oils and lubricants. ALPLA also operates recycling plants at three locations (Austria, Poland, Mexico) with an annual capacity of 65,000 tonnes of food-grade rPET. ALPLA celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.
Vlotho-Exter location factfile:
- In operation since: 1974
- Employees: 145
- Technologies used: Injection Moulding, Extrusion Moulding, Blow Moulding
- Annual production output: 300 million bottles, 1.3 billion preforms