Borealis and Erema: Closer cooperation for mechanical plastics recycling

Borealis and the Erema Group have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to intensify 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.

In particular, the two companies will cooperate more closely 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
  • Using knowledge exchange and best practices to design and implement new and practical technical solutions
  • Such recyclate should be available in greater amounts, exhibit improved mechanical properties, be suitable for high-end applications and commercialised at a faster rate
  • Standardising and harmonising 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
  • Upscaling the mechanical recycling industry: exploring the potential of increasing plant size and total production volumes in order to ensure secure and reliable market
  • Working in tandem to acquire more sophisticated market intelligence in order to deliver sufficient quantities of those specific types of materials demanded by customers.

With headquarters in Ansfelden, Austria, the Erema Group is a specialist in the development and production of plastics recycling systems and their components. Over 6,000 Erema systems are now in operation around the globe, producing a total of over 14.5 million t of plastic pellets annually.

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

F. l. t. r.: Manfred Hackl, CEO Erema Group GmbH, with Günter Stephan, Head of Mechanical Recycling, Borealis Circular Economy Solutions, Borealis AG (Source: Borealis)

“To make the circular economy of plastics a reality, we as an industry need to take action, innovate, become more customer-centric, and collaborate,” said 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,” stated Manfred Hackl, CEO Erema Group GmbH.