With a sorting capacity of 100,000 tons per year, the facility is three times larger than existing plants in Austria. The new sorting plant can cover 50% of Austria's lightweight packaging sorting capacity. The cross-border recycling partnership of ARA, Bernegger and Der Grüne Punkt is thus an important step for the European circular economy and a milestone for plastics recycling in Austria.
As part of a strategic partnership, ARA, Bernegger and Der Grüne Punkt are building a sorting facility for lightweight plastic and metal packaging. With the groundbreaking ceremony today on March 3, 2023, construction work on the high-tech sorting plant will now begin. "The adapted recycling targets of the EU Circular Economy Package require a fundamental increase in collection as well as a significant improvement in sorting depth. With this state-of-the-art sorting plant, we are ideally equipped to handle the increasing volumes of waste and raw materials," explains ARA CEO Martin Prieler. The yield of collected lightweight packaging can be strongly increased in the new sorting plant. The current plant infrastructure in Austria ensures a sorting depth of 58% for plastic packaging ; the plant from ARA, Bernegger and Der Grüne Punkt is expected to achieve 80%.
The sorting capacity of the plant is essential for achieving the recycling rates for plastic packaging, which Austria must double from the current 25% to 50% by 2025. With the sorting capacity of 100,000 tons per year, the plant plays a key role in achieving the EU recycling target and can cover 50% of the required sorting capacity for lightweight packaging in Austria.
Investment of 60 million euros brings climate protection and regional added value
Equipped with the latest near-infrared sensor technology, the new sorting plant is to be seen as a future-proof investment that processes raw materials in a fully digitalized manner and, with the help of artificial intelligence, achieves a significantly higher output while simultaneously increasing quality. The sensors are to recognize, analyze and separate a total of 20 different waste fractions to prepare the valuable raw materials for recycling without any loss of quality. Operated by its own PV system and other sustainable energy sources, the high-tech plant relies on sustainable and climate-friendly energy supply. "The construction of the sorting plant in the future raw material park Enns brings regional added value and creates 40 new green jobs in Austria," says Bernegger CEO Kurt Bernegger.