Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals, and fertilizers; and the Erema Group, the global market leader in the development and production of plastics recycling systems, 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.
Leveraging respective areas of expertise to accelerate technology development
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
- 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 commercialized at a faster rate
- Standardizing and harmonizing 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.
Erema Group and Borealis: a long-standing cooperation built on shared aims
With headquarters in Ansfelden, Austria, the Erema Group has more than just a geographical proximity to Borealis’ Austrian operations: the two companies share a deep commitment to leading the way to a more circular economy of plastics.
Since its founding 36 years ago, the Erema Group has been a global market leader in the development and production of plastics recycling systems and their components. Over 6000 Erema systems are now in operation around the globe, producing a total of over 14.5 million tonnes of plastic pellets annually. As an innovation leader with more than 1000 patents in 111 patent families, the Erema Group continually strives to promote and implement the principles of the circular economy in practice. Cultivating close relationships with value chain partners has been an effective way to help close the plastic cycle loop: profound understanding of the different kinds of challenges faced by different players along the value chain is a necessary prerequisite for offering the right solutions.
Borealis has taken the industry lead in redefining the nature of polyolefins products and applications. Its track record in Value Creation through Innovation enables it to develop and implement novel polyolefins-based solutions in the circular economy sphere, for example in the form of high-end compounds used in the automotive industry, and post-consumer recyclate grades used in consumer packaging. Importantly, Borealis seeks to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in the first place by promoting design for recyclability and the increased uptake of re-use packaging models. Borealis has also launched the dedicated communication platform EverMinds.
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.