Plastics Recycling Update

Central Mexico PET plant to add third line

The Envases Universales facility in Apan, Hidalgo, Mexico. | Courtesy of Envases Universales

Packaging manufacturer Envases Universales is expanding its recycling facility in Central Mexico from an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons to 100,000 metric tons by the end of 2024.

“Envases wants to ensure that PET containers can be properly recycled, and we’re fully committed to spreading awareness and encouraging others to recycle,” said Antonio Donnadieu Zapata, director of the PET division.

Envases Universales is part of the Envases Group, which has three joint ventures and 77 manufacturing facilities on three continents. It’s divided into three packaging divisions: PET packaging, aluminum beverage packaging and food and industrial packaging. 

The current 75,350-square-foot facility in Hidalgo, Mexico has a twin line that includes equipment from Sorema, Tomra and Unisensor for flake production and sorting. It also employs machinery from Erema and Polymetrix for extrusion and pellet production. 

The facility sports a water treatment plant and automated racks for resin and preform storage, including self-guided shuttles.

The upgrades will add about 37,700 square feet. That will provide larger storage areas and space for a third line, adding close to 40,000 metric tons per year of additional capacity. The upgrade is slated to be finished by the third quarter of 2024, Zapata noted. 

Envases Universales decided to expand in response to increased demand. The company also seeks to increase efficiency, meet regulatory requirements and help the environment, Zapata said. He noted there’s an increasing number of Mexican states implementing laws on recycling quotas and landfill diversion requirements.

“As more people and brands prioritize recycling, there will be an increased demand for recycling capacity,” he said. “An expansion of our recycling facility can help meet this demand and prevent backlogs or delays in processing materials.”

All the feedstock the facility processes comes from formal reclaimers in Mexico. Envases Universales uses about half of the resin it produces in its own bottles and preforms and sells the other half. 

Envases Universales is also building a facility in Curitiba, Brazil that will have a capacity of 40,000 metric tons per year. 

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