PETnology Europe 2024_summiteer

(Photo credit: Wakolbinger)

New sorting plant

Der Grüne Punkt/Ara/Bernegger: New plant to boost plastics recycling

2:49 min Sorting and collection
Cologne, Germany

On Friday, March 3, 2023, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new sorting plant, which is scheduled to go into operation at the beginning of 2024. In Ennshafen, Upper Austria, Altstoff Recycling Austria AG (ARA), Bernegger GmbH and Der Grüne Punkt Holding GmbH & Co KG are building a high-tech sorting plant for lightweight packaging.

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.

With a hall height of 25m, the new facility in Ennshafen, Upper Austria, will be one of the highest in Europe, thus ensuring low space consumption and efficient material flow. The site has been planned in a logistically sustainable manner and, thanks to the direct rail connection for the simultaneous unloading of up to 5 full trains, enables low-emission and climate-friendly transport by rail. The site is strategically located in view of the amendment to the Austrian Waste Management Act (AWG). After all, the amendment pushes low-emission transport by rail; in a few years, loads of more than ten tons of waste will have to be transported by rail from a distance of 100 km.

Cross-border partnership for more recycling

"We welcome this strategic cross-border partnership with our Austrian partners in order to further enhance additional feedstock towards more recycling and circularity," says Laurent Auguste, CEO Der Grüne Punkt.

Politicians welcome the innovation project

"For a modern business location, the use of resources is crucial. This innovative plant contributes to making Upper Austria a bit more ecological. The investment impressively demonstrates that climate protection is a high priority in Upper Austria. We are grateful to all those involved for this initiative," emphasizes Governor Thomas Stelzer.

"Reconciling business and the environment also brings many opportunities. Austria's economy and industry are full of innovative power, especially when it comes to the development of green technologies. This circular economy brings future-proof jobs for the people in the region and strengthens Austria as a business and innovation location in equal measure. This is a win-win situation for the environment and climate as well as value creation, especially for the people in the region," said Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler.


Caption header photo: Umweltlandesrat Stefan Kaineder, Kurt Bernegger (Bernegger Gruppe), Martin Wiener (Der Grüne Punkt), Martin Prieler (ARA), Vizekanzler Werner Kogler, Landeshauptmann Thomas Stelzer, Kurt Bernegger (Bernegger Gruppe), Laurent Auguste (Der Grüne Punkt), Harald Hauke (ARA), Christian Deleja-Hotko (Bürgermeister Stadt Enns)

PETnology's Resource Guide
comPETence center

The comPETence center provides your organisation with a dynamic, cost effective way to promote your products and services.

Find out more

Our premium articles

Find our premium articles, interviews, reports and more
in 3 issues in 2024.

Find out more
Current issue