Putting its money where its mouth is, polyolefins producer Borealis has now installed a €6 million novel water filtering system at its production facilities in Schwechat, Austria, with the aim of reducing the unintentional spillage of plastic pellets into the environment to an absolute minimum.
The company today announced that the upgraded wastewater treatment system is now fully operational.
The new filtration system in Schwechat is the most recent example of concrete measures taken at an operational level to achieve “Zero Pellet Loss,” the umbrella term for Borealis and industry efforts to reduce spillage. Regular internal monitoring of wastewater flows ensures that emissions always remain within stringent regulatory parameters.
The custom-built system, developed in collaboration with Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) and Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), includes two separate filtration systems for the multi-stage treatment of clean water. The system is able to filter a broad range of particle sizes of total suspended solids (TSS), from several millimetres to extremely fine – in the low micrometre range. The equipment has been installed downstream from existing polymer separators and acts as an additional layer of protection.
“A study of the TU Wien confirms that the filtration system has enabled us to make a step change in the purity of our wastewater,” Borealis said its statement announcing the news. CEO Alfred Stern emphasized that making substantial investments in such upgrades enhanced the company’s operational excellence.
“We intend to deliver on our commitment to reducing plastics loss in order to achieve our ‘Goal Zero’ of no losses whatsoever,” he said.
Borealis has and will further leverage learnings from the study as well as the development of this custom-built filtration system not only in all its production locations to further improve its operations, but also the whole value chain to foster the European “Zero Pellet Loss” and Operation Clean Sweep goals.