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ALBA Group contributes to the implementation of the EU plastics strategy

11th survey of resources published +++ Closed loop-circulation of plastics more efficient than primary production; one tonne of recycled propylene alone conserves almost 5 tonnes of raw materials +++ In 2017, recycling activities of the ALBA Group conserved a total of 30.2 million tonnes of primary resources and led to the saving of 4.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions +++

Berlin. With its recycling activities, the ALBA Group contributes to the achievement of the goals of the EU plastics strategy. This is proven by the survey “resources SAVED by recycling“ presented today, that the Fraunhofer-Institut UMSICHT carried out for the eleventh year, on behalf of the ALBA Group. According to this, closed loop-circulation of plastics by the environmental services provider saves resources and greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale, compared to crude oil based primary production.

Concretely, for example, primary production of one tonne of polypropylene – the second most frequently used plastic worldwide – requires around 5.2 tonnes of raw material and releases 1.7 tonnes of greenhouse gases. The production of one tonne of polypropylene from secondary raw materials, by comparison, on average uses only 224 kilogrammes of resources while 966 kilogrammes of greenhouse gases are released.

“The requirement for a sparing closed loop-circulation is state of the art procedures such as Recycled-Resource, with which our subsidiary company Interseroh completely closed the material circulation of plastics“, says Dr Axel Schweitzer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ALBA Group. “Therefore, we not only support the goals of the EU plastics strategy from the start of 2018, which amongst other things promotes increased use of innovative technologies for closed plastic circulation.”

Overall, the combined recycling activities of the environmental services and raw material provider conserved around 30.2 million tonnes of primary resources in the last year, and at the same time saved around 4.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. In order to bind the same amount of greenhouse gases naturally, a mixed forest of around 410,000 hectares would be necessary – this corresponds to around the size of the Ruhr region.

“The more low-emission and energy saving waste logistics and processing technologies are, the lighter the ecological rucksack of recycling materials will become”, points out Dr Eng Markus Hiebel, Director of the Department for Sustainability and Resources Management at the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT. “Therefore, only a high quality closed loop-circulation like that of the ALBA Group leads to a clear positive environmental balance. Our survey should therefore raise awareness of the way to actually achieve more sustainable business practices.”

For eleven years the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT (Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik), has now been researching how the recycling activities of the ALBA Group impact the environment – specifically the climate and natural resources. Its results are published annually in the “resources SAVED by recycling” brochure. In this year’s survey, the scientists took a detailed look at the material streams of plastics, metals, waste electrical (and electronic) equipment, paper/cardboard/carton, glass and wood. You can find the complete results of the study and best practices for recycling from the ALBA Group on the information portal www.resources-saved.com.

About Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is a pioneer of sustainable energy and raw material management, providing and transferring scientific findings to business, society and politics. Together with its partners, the UMSICHT team researches and develops sustainable products, processes and services which are very impressive. In this respect, it focuses on the balance between economically successful, socially just and environmentally friendly developments. In 2017, the institute and its 450 staff generated a turnover of more than 41.6 million euros. As one of 69 institutes and research facilities in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe's leading applied research organisation, we are part of a global network and promote international collaboration.

More information on Fraunhofer UMSICHT can be found at www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de

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Next to ALBA, Interseroh is one brand under the umbrella of the ALBA Group. The ALBA Group is one of the leading recycling and environmental services companies as well as raw material providers worldwide and operates within Germany, Europa and Asia. In 2017 its divisions generated an annual turnover of approx. 1.8 billion Euros and employed a staff of about 7,500 employees. In 2017 alone ALBA Group saved almost 4.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and at the same time about 30.2 million tonnes of primary raw materials through its recycling activities.

Further information on Interseroh can be found at www.interseroh.com. All press releases of the ALBA Group may be subscribed to via RSS feed at www.albagroup.de/presse.