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Austrian plastic recycling equipment producer Erema Engineering Recycling Maschinen u Anlagen GmbH is building a 16,700 square foot research and development (R&D) center at its main campus in Ansfelden, Austria. Completion of the project is scheduled for next February.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site on April 6 for two buildings of nearly 16,700 square feet that will include offices for approximately 50 people. “The R&D center will provide test machines and a cross-departmental, cross-company laboratory for the research and development of plastics recycling technologies to advance the circular economy,” the company said.

“Plastics recycling is currently moving very rapidly from a niche to a trend,” the company says, adding that “this is driven by the legislative targets for plastics recycling that the European Union and many countries around the world have adopted, as well as by the European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent and in which the circular economy plays a very central role.

The company claims that there is not just one recycling solution for different types of plastic waste, but rather different depending on the type of plastic, the product and the application for the recycled plastic.

“It makes a difference whether clean production waste is recycled and returned to the production process or whether printed and contaminated packaging material collected in yellow bags is recycled and reused to make food packaging again,” Markus comments. Huber-Lindinger, managing director of Erema.

“While certain loops in the plastics industry, such as for PET [polyethylene terephthalate] bottles, have already been closed, many other plastic waste streams still require a lot of R&D in cooperation with all players in the value chain to produce recycled pellets that meet the highest standards for the production of new products”, says Huber-Lindinger. “More space will be available for this in the new center.”

Markus Achleitner, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Upper Austria region, which includes Ansfelden, says: “With its innovative companies and research centers, Upper Austria focuses on plastics competence. Erema is one of the technology leaders in the plastics industry whose products are successful on the world market. The basis of this success is intensive research and development work. I therefore congratulate the company for having taken this step of building a new R&D center. This will strengthen Upper Austria as a location for business and research and create attractive jobs.