New Plant to boost Plastics Recycling

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Europe's most modern Sorting Plant

News Bild [Translate to Englisch:] Martin Prieler (ARA), Landeshauptmann Thomas Stelzer, Kurt Bernegger (Bernegger Gruppe), Vizekanzler Werner Kogler, Laurent Auguste (Der Grüne Punkt). (Bild: Wakolbinger)

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 (from left to right): Martin Prieler (ARA), Landeshauptmann Thomas Stelzer, Kurt Bernegger (Bernegger Gruppe), Vizekanzler Werner Kogler, Laurent Auguste (Der Grüne Punkt). (Photo: Wakolbinger)


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About ARA
Future. Cycle. Economy. For almost 30 years, Altstoff Recycling Austria AG (ARA) has been working as a driving force of the Austrian waste and recycling industry and is the market leader among the collection and recycling systems for packaging, waste electrical equipment and batteries. Today, ARA with its subsidiaries ARAplus GmbH, Austria Glas Recycling GmbH, DiGiDO GmbH, Digi-Cycle GmbH and ERA GmbH is regarded as an international best practice and, as a partner of the economy, develops customized disposal solutions in the waste and circular economy: from de-commitment and material flow management to circular design and digitalization of the circular economy. ARA AG serves more than 15,000 customers. It is owned by domestic companies and, as a non-profit enterprise, does not operate for profit.


About Bernegger
We move sustainably, for more than 75 years. Founded as a family business in Molln, Bernegger is active in the areas of construction, raw materials and environment. At 20 locations with around 1000 employees, innovative projects are implemented today through handshake quality, courage, and many strong hands, which have even been awarded national and international sustainability prizes. Especially in the field of recycling and waste management, we make an important contribution to an intact environment. Compliance with high environmental protection standards is particularly close to our hearts. Our activities are entirely focused on the circular economy, which is not just being introduced at Bernegger, but is already being practiced.


About the Green Dot company:
The Green Dot company is service provider for extended producer responsibility, leading supplier of secondary raw materials for plastics, and premium producer of plastic recyclates, and as such positioned as the premier solution provider for the needs of the circular economy. The Der Grüne Punkt Holding GmbH & Co. KG, with the Green Dot® as its trademark, was among the companies to introduce and establish the dual system in Germany, and stands for intelligent take-back systems, plus the development and marketing of innovative recyclates and services. Systec Plastics, at its facilities in Eisfeld and Hörstel, produces premium-quality recyclates under the Systalen® brand name for the international market. Der Grüne Punkt Holding GmbH & Co. KG belongs to the group of companies Green Dot Global S.à r.l.


If you have any queries, please contact:


Simone de Raaij                    
Tel.: +43.664.856 80 54


Der Grüne Punkt
Norbert Völl
Tel. +49.2203.937507


Tina Weiß
Tel. +43.664.83.21.915