Today saw the operational start of the advanced mechanical recycling demo plant built in Lahnstein, Germany, by Austrian raw materials producer Borealis and Norway-based waste collection and sorting systems expert Tomra. The plant is jointly operated by the two companies, in collaboration with waste management company Zimmerman. The partnership marries chemistry with technology for 'unsurpassed' results, the companies said.
At the plant, both rigid and flexible household plastic waste is sorted and then processed into high purity, low odour, regranulated pellets. The ready-for-market, fully formulated material features the high product consistency and light colour fractions so essential in numerous higher end plastic automotive or consumer product applications.
The purpose of the demo plant is to generate material for brand owners and converters to qualify, validate and prove fit for use in demanding applications. The first material will become available for qualification in early 2021. Once the technical success of the process has been established, the companies hope to proceed towards a commercial-scale advanced recycling plant.
The plant embodies the principles of Borealis’ EverMind platform, the umbrella brand created to heighten the visibility of plastics circularity and to innovate this through collaboration, said Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins, Innovation & Technology and Circular Economy Solutions.
The material will be sold under the trade name Borcycle M grade recycled polymers and will meet customer quality requirements across the value chain.
“Offering brand owners and converters top quality recycled material, suitable for use in highly demanding applications is Borealis’ latest contribution to a more circular economy of plastics,” added Foufopoulos.