Demand for recycling systems has soared over the past few years, and Starlinger, an Austrian family-owned machinery manufacturer has responded accordingly.
Its recycling technology division generates 130 million euros ($158.7 million) in annual turnover ‘constitutes an important mainstay for the future of Starlinger - a mainstay that we intend to build on’, said Angelika Huemer, CEO and managing partner of Starlinger & Co. GmbH. “We decided to expand our production capacity by opening a new factory.”
The new plant is located in Germany at the same site as Unirota Maplan Schwerin GmbH, a company affiliated with the Starlinger Group. Starlinger, said Heumer, needed to act quickly in order to be able to keep up with demand and Unirota had a number of production halls that it was not using.
Starlinger converted these into manufacturing space for its PET recycling systems, the area which has seen the most significant growth since 2018. On the one hand, this is due to the stricter guidelines for plastic packaging and higher recycling rates set by both the EU and the individual member states; on the other hand, the implementation of sustainability strategies and recycled content targets by national and international brand companies such as Coca-Cola are also acting as important driving forces.
"We already have close to 80 PET bottle-to-bottle recycling plants in operation at customers' sites around the world, 12 of them in Germany, Austria and Switzerland alone,” says Paul Niedl, head of sales of the division Starlinger recycling technology.
All personnel required for the assembly work could be recruited from the Schwerin area. All were sent to Austria for training.
The plant now spans 11,000 square meters of floor space - enough to enable Starlinger’s largest-sized PET processing systems to be assembled. These systems can reach output rates of up to 3.6 tonnes per hour. The first two systems manufactured at the Schwerin site will be delivered by end of December 2020.