U.S., Swiss Companies Partner on Plastics Recycling Sorting

U.S., Swiss Companies Partner on Plastics Recycling Sorting

U.S. and Swiss companies are partnering to offer plastics recyclers a solution for plastic bottle and flake sorting.

Nashville, Tenn.-based National Recovery Technologies (NRT) is entering a strategic agreement with Buhler Sortex, London, part of the Uzwil, Switzerland-based Buhler Group, to provide their technologies, engineering, customer and support networks, according to a news release.

The partnership between NRT and Buhler Sortex expands their efforts in the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sorting operations in both Europe and North America. It also strengthens their continuing expansion in the PET and HDPE sorting segment, across Europe and North America.  In addition, it strengthens their position as leading joint suppliers of combined plastic bottle and flake sorting solutions to the plastics recycling industry, with technologies such as In-Flight Sorting, PET Boost, Label Reduction Kit and Smart-Eject.

The partnership also will provide access to both companies’ range of capabilities, including system design, on-site management, installation and product training. In addition, the partnership will include close collaboration with key members of the technology value chain.

“We’re excited to bring the industry’s first complete offering to market that doesn’t require a plastics recycler to compromise on bottle or flake sorting performance and provides high-quality, local support,” said NRT President Matthias Erdmannsdoerfer. “We look forward to building a strong partnership with Buhler Sortex and our customers across Europe and North America.”

Adds Charith Gunawardena, head of Optical Sorting at Buhler Sortex, “This landmark agreement signifies our confidence in the future growth of recycling. It also strengthens our industry references and reinforces our leading role in optical sorting.”

Global plastics production has increased by 10 million metric tons to about 280 million metric tons in 2011, continuing a growth rate of 9 percent per annum. Europe and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) region comprise 41 percent of the world’s total plastic materials production, which has driven demand for integrated bottle and flake sorting solutions, as companies strive to meet government recycling targets and corporate social responsibility pledges.

Meanwhile, there is a recycling commodity glut in the world because of depressed worldwide prices, slower demand from China and lower oil prices impacting recycling plastics, Leone Young wrote in her most recent Business Insights, which summarized some of the major takeaways from the Waste360 Recycling Summit in September.

But deals continue. This month, Novolex has purchased Wisconsin Film & Bag (WFB), a plastic bag and film manufacturer and recycler. The Shawano, Wis.-based WFB operates a plastics recycling plant and converting facility near its headquarters. It makes custom polyethylene bags and films as well recycled and sustainable materials.

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