Austria-based Starlinger & Co. GmbH. says it has opened a new facility in Germany that has allowed it to double its capacity to make plastics recycling systems. Starlinger says it has been producing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics recycling systems in the recoSTAR series at its new site in Schwerin, Germany, since August, which has allowed it to quickly increase its capacity.
“In the past two years, our division Starlinger Recycling Technology has seen strong demand for recycling systems,” says Angelika Huemer, CEO and managing partner of Starlinger. “This field of activity with an annual turnover of 130 million euros ($159 million) constitutes an important mainstay for the future of Starlinger–a mainstay that we intend to build on.”
Huemer says uniROTA Maplan Schwerin GmbH, a company affiliated with the Starlinger Group, had unused production space available in Schwerin. The converted space enabled Starlinger to quickly ramp up the manufacturing of its PET recycling systems.
Employees were recruited from the Schwerin area and were trained in Austria. The first two systems manufactured at the Schwerin site will be delivered to customers by the end of the year, according to Starlinger.
“Particularly in the field of PET recycling, we have experienced significant growth since 2018," says Paul Niedl, head of sales of the Starlinger Recycling Technology division. “On the one hand, this is due to the stricter guidelines for plastic packaging and higher recycling rates set by individual states and unions of states such as the European Union,” he continues. “On the other hand, national and international brand companies such as Coca-Cola are important driving forces. These brand owners – in Austria the mineral water bottler Vöslauer, for example–are rigorously implementing their sustainability strategy and thus creating a market for recycled PET.”
Continues Niedl, “We already have close to 80 PET bottle-to-bottle recycling plants in operation at customers’ sites around the world, [with] 12 of them in Germany, Austria and Switzerland alone.”
Regarding other plastic resins, Huemer and Niedl say they see an urgent need for action. “There is a lack of incentives for companies and, above all, concrete specifications from politicians and legislators about how to establish the sustainable use and reuse of plastics in both an economic and social sense,” says Huemer. “The media plays an important role, too, in this. We need binding regulations, and the implementation of such regulations needs to be monitored.”
A video with footage of the Schwerin can be found on this web page.