“We have been very big polluters. Plastic, we put it everywhere. But, from 2005, we became aware of it, and we moved towards new products, bio-compostable and made of recycled plastic »underlined Mondebetween mea culpa and pride in having taken the turn in time, John Persenda, the founder and president of the French group Sphère, leader in household packaging.
In the metropolitan area of Zaragoza, between the factories of giants in the automotive sector, cereal fields and wind turbines, he came to inaugurate with great fanfare, on September 14, the new factory of his Spanish subsidiary. The Pedrola site in Aragon, an ultra-modern 32,000 square meter building, built on the principle of the circular economy and zero waste, has become the largest of the fifteen factories that the group specializes in recycled plastic bags and plastic bags. compostables account in Western Europe (including seven in France).
Thanks to an investment of 32 million euros, Sphere is tripling the size of the facilities it previously had in the neighboring town of Utebo, equipping them with better environmental certifications and the latest technological advances, and approaching the 300 employees by creating 35 new jobs. Enough to allow the subsidiary to exceed 100 million euros in turnover in 2023, twice as much as three years ago, against a backdrop of tougher Spanish legislation on waste treatment.
Far from posing a risk to the company’s results in the plastics sector, environmental constraints have so far strengthened it in the face of Asian competition. In effect since 2020, the requirement for plastic bags over 50 microns to contain 50% recycled plastic has boosted Sphere sales, confirming a long-standing shift. Ditto, since 2021, the ban on the distribution of lightweight plastic bags, less than 50 microns thick, has boosted the sale of compostable “fruit and vegetable” bags, which Sphere was already producing.
In the huge fully robotized rooms of the Pedrola plant, huge rolls of film are made from recycled plastic pellets or potato starch in extrusion machines, before being cut into bags- bin or checkout outlets, then stamped with the distributor brands of the various supermarket chains that source their supplies here (DIA, Carrefour, Eroski, Lidl, etc.). All offcuts from cuts made on site are reprocessed and reintegrated into the production line on site. The group is preparing to meet other challenges in the plastics sector.
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