2024-04-25, 08:53

Paag: Expansion of PET bottle-to-bottle recycling in Turkey - New recycling plant from Starlinger

Paag employees and management in front of the "recoStar PET 165 HC iV+" PET bottle-to-bottle recycling system from Starlinger at the recycling plant in Gebze, Turkey - (Photo: Paag).
Paag, a Bell Holding A.Ş. company, has installed a "recoStar PET 165 HC iV+" PET bottle-to-bottle recycling system from Starlinger with a production capacity of up to 1,800 kg/h at its plant in Gebze, Kocaeli near Istanbul. According to the machine manufacturer, the system went into operation in mid-March 2024.

By investing in bottle-to-bottle recycling, Paag aims to reduce the need for virgin plastic, minimise its carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable approach to packaging. ‘We entered the bottle-to-bottle recycling market because we are committed to sustainability and want to have a positive impact on the environment,’ explains Bekir Öktenoğlu, Deputy CEO of Paag. ‘We are aware of the urgent global problem of climate change. By converting used plastic bottles back into new, high-quality bottles, we have the opportunity to contribute to a circular economy.’


Paag has set itself the goal of processing around 1,200 tonnes of collected PET bottles per month. The recycled PET is mainly supplied to Senapa Stampa, a sister company within Bell Holding. This is part of the holding company's integrated sustainability approach with the aim of reducing its collective environmental footprint by integrating recycled PET into its own supply chain. Paag also sells the recycled PET to external customers.

"Starlinger's cutting-edge technology is in line with our ambition to deliver high-quality recycled materials, reduce environmental impact and promote sustainability in the packaging industry. This strategic partnership reflects Paag's vision of a more sustainable future with greater environmental awareness", Bekir Öktenoğlu continues. "In addition, Starlinger's PET recycling process has EFSA and FDA approvals for the production of food-grade rPET. This ensures that the recycled PET fulfils the highest safety and quality standards. This is in line with our goal of supplying not only sustainable but also food-safe packaging solutions and underlines our claim to top quality in the packaging industry."

In order to collect PET bottles, Paag has launched a door-to-door collection system called "To-Ka" for PET bottles from end consumers on its own initiative. In addition, collection points have been set up in collaboration with recycling partners and municipal organisations; environmentally friendly transport methods are used to transport the collected post-consumer PET bottles. After arriving at the recycling plant, the PET bottles undergo a careful sorting and cleaning process before the shredded and washed bottles are processed into high-quality recycled PET pellets in the Starlinger "recoStar PET 165 HC iV+" recycling plant. Starlinger's Super Clean PET recycling process, combined with Paag's stringent quality assurance programme, ensures that the recycled material meets or even exceeds industry specifications.

Motor for more environmental awareness
Although the Turkish government is taking steps to tackle environmental issues such as the generation of plastic waste, the environment in the country is dynamic and specific incentives vary. Currently, both government initiatives and private companies such as Paag are helping to promote and expand environmental awareness and the collection of plastic waste in Turkey. For private companies, corporate responsibility and sustainability goals are often the deciding factors in taking proactive measures to solve environmental problems. Paag's commitment to recycling PET bottles contributes to a circular economy and is an example of how private companies can have a positive impact on the environment. The aforementioned waste collection and disposal initiative called "To-Ka" is a project that Paag has launched on its own initiative. "To-Ka" stands for "topla - kazan" ("collect - win") and aims to actively involve citizens and companies in the collection of plastic waste through an incentive system. Both private individuals and companies can use the "To-Ka" app to hand in their collected PET bottles at collection machines set up at busy locations such as petrol stations, supermarkets and shops. Paag waste collectors can also be called via the "To-Ka" app to collect the collected PET bottles directly from the specified address. For each bottle, a certain number of points are credited in the ‘To-Ka’ app, which can be used for payment at POS systems in cafés, shops, etc. or can also be donated. The "To-Ka" project has been implemented in the greater Istanbul area since May 2023. The next step is to introduce it in 15 other major cities in Turkey.

About Paag
PCR Ambalaj Atıkları Geri Kazanım A.Ş. (Paag) is a company of Bell Holding A.Ş. and was founded in 2021 for the collection, sorting and recycling of FMCG packaging. With its headquarters in Elmadağ, Istanbul, and a recycling site in Gebze in the province of Kocaeli, which borders Istanbul, Paag processes post-consumer PET, HDPE and PP packaging. The high-quality rPET flakes and granulates produced are supplied to sister companies in the Bell Group as well as to other customers in the plastic packaging market.

More information:,

Starlinger & Co. GmbH, Vienna, Austria

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