A study conducted by ALPLA has shown a 79% lower CO2 emission in recycled PET (rPET) compared to virgin material.
ALPLA, an international producer of plastic packaging solutions, has been manufacturing PET packaging for over 20 years.
While the company acknowledged that the economic conditions for the recycling of plastic are difficult due to falling oil prices, ALPLA still believes in recycling PET packaging due to the sustainability benefits.
The rPET produced by ALPLA’s recycling facility in Wöllersdorf has a carbon footprint of 0.45kg CO2 equivalent per kilogram of rPET.
Virgin material accounts for a CO2 equivalent of 2.15kg per kilogram. This calculates to 79% lower greenhouse gas emissions for rPET.
Plant manager Peter Fröschel explained: “The savings for a single kilogram of rPET are enough to power a 13-watt bulb continuously for twenty days in the Austrian power mix.”
The carbon footprint study started with the sorting of used PET bottles, covering transportation to the recycling plant In Wöllersdorf, through washing, processing and granulating. The analysis is based on the mass and energy balance for 2016 at the Wöllersdorf recycling plant in Austria.
ALPLA operates recycling enterprises at three sites- Mexico, Wöllersdorf and a new plant in Poland. The annual quantity produced by these plants is around 65,000 tonnes of food-grade rPET.
Fröschel said: “We are witnessing a clear trend towards PET packaging. And not just in summer, when the beverage industry enjoys a boom due to hot weather.”
He added that this makes it even more vital to collect used packaging and return recyclable materials to the production process.