The new recycling plant will produce 20,000 tons of food-grade recycled pellet per year and will eliminate recycled resin transport-related emissions since it is co-located at Plastipak’s current preform manufacturing site. The recycling plant is Plastipak’s fifth recycling facility, with other recycling plants located in U.S., France, Luxembourg, and United Kingdom. In Europe, Plastipak is the largest producer of food-grade rPET, with well over 150,000 tons of rPET capacity per annum.
Pedro Martins, Plastipak’s Executive Managing Director Europe, said, “The use of rPET is a key tool in reducing our customer’s Scope 3 related emissions and forms an important part of their ESG-packaging related commitments. As well as supporting our customers to reduce their financial obligations under the planned Spanish plastics tax, the plant will also contribute to the meeting the minimum recycled content levels mandated by the Single Use Plastics Directive.”
To support on-site energy generation, the state-of-the-art facility incorporates advanced energy-saving technologies and equipment that includes the rooftop installation of over 1800 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The PV panels are expected to generate more than 1339 MWh of electricity per year that will be consumed entirely on-site, saving more than 443 tonnes of CO2 per year through the avoidance of consumption of electricity from the national grid. This is in addition to the CO2 avoided by using the 20,000 tons of recycled resin instead of virgin resin.
Jack Pacente, VP Global Sustainability, explained, “We are delighted to open another world-class PET bottle-to-bottle recycling facility, complete with additional investment in emissions-reduction initiatives, demonstrating our leadership in the circular economy. Already, 100 percent of the electricity Plastipak consumes in Europe originates from renewable sources, and the installation of PV panels is our second on-site renewable power generation project in the European region. Long-term emissions reduction is a core pillar of our ESG programme, demonstrated by our registered commitment to the Science-Based Target Initiative.”
David Stajninger, Plastipak’s Global Recycling Business Manager added, “Plastipak began recycling post consumer bottles in 1989 to support our customers at a time when post-consumer resins were not widely available for bottle-to-bottle applications. This expansion further reinforces Plastipak’s global strategy of having high quality integrated rPET material to continue to meet our customers’ growing needs.