Circular economy

With the founding of the Starlinger recycling technology division more than 30 years ago we laid the technological foundations for a successful circular economy in the plastics and packaging industry. With our innovative solutions, we have succeeded in bringing the PET cycle to life, especially for the beverage industry. Today, bottle-to-bottle recycling is regarded as a prime example of a functioning and sustainable circular economy. Based on this success story, the "circular packaging" concept is constantly being expanded and applied to other packaging applications such as trays, cups and the like. Non-recyclable packaging materials are gradually being removed from the market and replaced by plastics such as PET. PET is an excellent material for the food industry in particular, as its special properties meet the high requirements for food-safe recycling.

The group of polyolefins, such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), make up the largest proportion of plastics in the world. It is impossible to imagine our society without these materials. For us, these materials are valuable resources that should neither be landfilled nor incinerated. With the technologies and processes we have developed, these plastics can be reprocessed for a new product life cycle. Only post-consumer waste that has completed its product life cycle is eligible for the resulting recycling process. This strict definition strongly deters the greenwashing of production waste. As proof, the material flows must be conscientiously documented and presented in a comprehensible manner.

Product design is crucial for recyclability. We build on many years of expertise in this area and use our experience to develop appropriate "design for recycling" regulations and guidelines. The basis for a functioning circular economy is a collaborative approach in which all participants along the value chain take responsibility and make their contribution.

We see it as our task to close the loops – an essential challenge that we face with conviction. Thanks to our many years of experience, our expertise includes technologies and systems for high-quality recycling and the associated processes. Together with research institutes and our customers and partners along the value chain we develop and work on sensible packaging solutions. The closed packaging cycle for school milk cups made from rPET, big bags made from recycled PP or recycled PET, and our involvement in studies on the use of recyclates in food packaging are just some of the projects we have initiated. In this way, we show how solutions work in practice.