Founded in 1992, Erema North America (ENA), based in Ipswich, MA, distributes recycling systems from the Austrian machine manufacturer in North America and offers equipment trials at the customer center, on-site service, machine components and technical support. In December 2020, the 1,000th machine for ENA was shipped to South Carolina, from Erema headquarters in Austria. It is now in operation at the facility of recycling service provider PreZero to recycle post consumer plastic waste.
PreZero US is a subsidiary of PreZero International and started operation in the USA in 2018 following the acquisition of a recycling services provider. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company collects and processes washed LDPE and LLDPE film, containers and lids on the east and west coasts of the US. The recycling facilities in Southern California and South Carolina process these post consumer material streams to produce high quality resins (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE and PE), which is used as a substitute for virgin material in many applications. "This way we prevent this waste material from ending up in landfills. With our recycling facilities on both the east and west coasts, we can significantly shorten transport distances, which in turn also reduces CO2 emissions," says Hendrik Dullinger, Vice President of Business Development.
Not only in Europe but also at its recycling facility in California, PreZero has already been using Erema recycling technology. The new Intarema 1716 TVEplus machine, which has now been started up in South Carolina, is equipped with a twin laser filter and is used for processing washed LDPE flakes. The output rate is 3300 to 3900 lbs/h (1500 to 1800 kg per hour). The combined production capacity of the two facilities is at least 20,000 tons per year.
The special challenge in recycling this material is its mixed composition. "The film material is printed and contains moisture, which makes it difficult to process. However, our technology copes very well with this," explains Andreas Kreindl, Sales Manager at Erema. Complete homogenization, filtration and degassing of the melt take place in one step, with melt filtration upstream of extruder degassing, thanks to TVEplus technology. This ensures that only thoroughly melted, filtered and homogenized material can pass the degassing zone of the extruder.
In addition to the high quality of the recycled pellets, a consistent recycling process was the decisive criterion for PreZero's decision in favor of this technology. Hendrik Dullinger also states: “Strong local support and experience in the US recycling market played a major role in our decision.” The recycled pellets are used primarily in the production of film and grocery bags.
PreZero's goal is to expand its recycling capacity for film and other grades of plastic across the States and promote plastics recycling in the USA. "By working together with the machine manufacturers, our suppliers and our film customers, we can promote the circular economy and work towards a sustainable future,” says Hendrik Dullinger.