Stepped-up cooperation between Borealis and Erema tackles challenge of plastics recyclability

Resin supplier Borealis and recycling systems provider Erema have signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the purpose of deepening their cooperation in the field of mechanical recycling. The shared goal is to advance mechanical recycling technologies in order to accelerate the transition to a circular economy of plastics. The companies also aim to enhance recycling processes in order to satisfy increasing market demand for higher-quality recyclate used in high-end applications.

Manfred Hackl, CEO Erema Group GmbH (left) with Günter Stephan, Head of Mechanical Recycling, Borealis Circular Economy Solutions, Borealis AG. [Photo: Borealis]

While the ultimate aim of the stepped-up cooperation is to effect the more rapid transformation to a circular economy, Borealis and Erema will collaborate most specifically on developing improved technologies and processes in mechanical recycling by leveraging each company’s respective area of expertise: Borealis in polymers, and Erema in engineering; to  this end, there will be joint tests, trial runs and pilot projects.

The companies will also use knowledge exchange and best practices to design and implement new and practical technical solutions. Recyclate should be available in greater amounts, exhibit improved mechanical properties, be suitable for high-end applications and commercialized at a faster rate. Further, they will standardize and harmonize input feedstock and recyclate output (pellets) in order to enable the broader use of recycled solutions for individual end-use applications, and in particular for everyday consumer products.

Finally, they will work on upscaling the mechanical recycling industry: exploring the potential of increasing plant size and total production volumes in order to ensure secure and reliable market availability

In recent years, Borealis has expanded its sphere of activity beyond virgin polyolefins by entering the field of mechanical plastics recycling. It acquired leading German mechanical plastics recycler mtm plastics in 2016 and leading Austrian recycler Ecoplast in 2018. Now, as part of the Borealis Group, both companies also have long-established ties to the Erema Group.

“To make the circular economy of plastics a reality, we as an industry need to take action, innovate, become more customer-centric, and collaborate,” says Lucrèce Foufopoulos-De Ridder, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology. “Taking our collaboration with Erema to the next level is going to yield positive effects that reverberate across the entire value chain and perfectly underlines our EverMinds ambition.”

“We are pleased to have signed this agreement – not only because it is a great step forward for both our companies, but because our intensified cooperation is certain to have a catalytic effect in the transformational process to a circular economy,” states Manfred Hackl, CEO Erema Group GmbH.

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