Plastipol was founded in 1976 thanks to an idea by Giorgio Malaspina. It was an ambitious and highly original idea that developed in an age when all plastics were disposed of as landfill. Malaspina developed a recovery process for plastic waste and scrap in response to the oil crisis that had led to an exponential increase in the cost of raw materials. Plastipol has a patented, high-tech system of mechanical recycling of polyethylene, which enables production of regenerated granules made from post-consumer recycled material.
In 1980 the company began the collection, sorting and washing of plastics obtained from separate waste collection, LDPE in particular.
Today, the company receives plastic waste from post-consumer separate waste collection operated by the Recycling division of ReLife Group. It has the capacity to recycle over 16,000 tons of waste every year, transforming it into secondary raw materials.
Through a special process, post-consumer plastic from Plastipol is washed, ground and transformed into a new material which is then used to produce refuse bags.
Plastipol is recognised as a European leader thanks to its technical excellence in the recycling of post-consumer plastics. Post-consumer granules can be used in pure form to produce very low-thickness films (up to 15 microns) with high-performance technical specifications.
In 1965 Umberto Malaspina founded Plastipoliver in Ovada in the province of Alessandria. His idea was to carry out the extrusion, welding and packaging of polyethylene film in order to produce refuse bags, food grade bags and high-tech barrier film. The aim was to cater to small businesses that distributed biscuits throughout the Piedmont region and to improve food storage and protection.
Today, the facilities process more than 15,000 tons of granules (both virgin and recycled) used to make over 2.5 billion bags sold to end consumers, embracing the group’s guidelines on verticalisation (all the recycled raw material is supplied by Plastipol) and sustainability, with CO2 emissions that are 50% lower compared to virgin-only processes, and with superior finished product circularity by virtue of the high-percentage content of recycled granules originating from post-consumer material.
Plastipoliver operates a three-shift rotation with 14 single, double, triple and up to seven-layer blown film extruders, making approximately 800 different products ranging from food grade bags for chilled food storage to non-food applications like garment storage bags and refuse bags.
Plastipoliver, run by Simona and Alberto Malaspina, grandchildren of the founder Umberto, is market leader in the production of refuse bags sold by the large-scale retail channel in Italy, and used by European municipalities, especially France, where in 1988 the company achieved prestigious product certification for its refuse bags certified NF UNI EN 13592. The company also produces bags for food packaging and has achieved ISO 9001 and UNI 15593 certification pertaining to food packaging hygiene.
This process was aimed at making ReLife’s operating structure increasingly organic with a view to achieving its goals.
The group presents itself to the market as a producer of sustainable packaging originating from the collection and processing of recoverable waste. Setting itself important goals, such as reducing CO2 emissions, it guarantees the maximum sustainability of its products, increasing value for customers, who are not only suppliers but above all partners in the circular economy.
We are particularly proud of this turning point, states Alberto Malaspina, Chief Executive Officer. This change of name expresses how we are stepping into the future while at the same time walking in the footsteps of our grandfather Umberto, a real pioneer. He was the one who had the idea of producing recycled plastic during the oil crisis back in the ’70s. Looking to the future runs in the family.”
ReLife’s Plastic Packaging division has an annual turnover of approximately 37 million euro. Operating a 3-shift continuous rotation, the division’s plants have a covered area of around 33,000 m² located in Tagliolo Monferrato and Silvano d’Orba, both in the province of Alessandria. Women account for over 40% of the 150-strong workforce.
The vision for the manufacturing future of ReLife Plastic Packaging is to guarantee low-thickness products with a high percentage of post-consumer recycling. In particular, on the critical topic of secondary and tertiary packaging, the division guarantees customers the supply of stretch wrap film (e.g. for pallets) with 60% post-consumer material.
In 2018, thanks to recycling, ReLife Plastic Packaging saved CO2 emissions equivalent to 12,000 passenger flights from Rome-New York.
In 2018 the amount of recycled film produced was enough to cover: