years of plastic recycling – how will it go on?

Panel discussion at the company anniversary of Multiport and MultiPet


Do higher quota push the German plastic recycling industry forward? This was one of the essential questions considered in the discussions on 22nd June 2011 in Bernburg.


Participants in the discussion: Dr. P. Orth, managing director BKV GmbH, B. Landers, chairman bvse, Dr. J. Wuttke, Federal Environment Office, Dr. M. Scriba, managing director mtm plastics GmbH
Participants in the discussion: Dr. P. Orth, managing director BKV GmbH, B. Landers, chairman bvse, Dr. J. Wuttke, Federal Environment Office, Dr. M. Scriba, managing director mtm plastics GmbH

The 20th anniversary of the company Multiport Recycling GmbH and the 10th anniversary of the MultiPet Gesellschaft für PET Recycling GmbH was the occasion for the round of talks. Previous to the discussions, managing director Herbert Snell talked about the development of the companies against the background of the 20 year old regulation on packaging. ”Germany is a country with a lack of raw materials and plastic waste is valuable raw material. To safeguard the provision of material and to ensure investments we need recycling quota,” he eventually claims.

Burkhard Landers, chairman of the federation for secondary raw material and waste management, thinks that the recycling quota of 60 percent, which was proposed in the amendment of the recycling management and waste law, is little motivating. He wants a quota towards 80 percent, however, within his association a clear political strategy regarding the quota question is still outstanding. Joachim Wuttke, Federal Environment Office, puts the informative value of 2/3 quota into question, as the respective basis of calculation is often disregarded. The quota of the regulation on packaging is calculated differently as the one planned in the recycling management and waste law. Michael Scriba, managing director of mtm Plastics, Niedergebra raises concerns from the point of view of an entrepreneur, that a claim for a recycling quota of 80 percent, brought forward by the associations, would even in Germany lead to similar rejection as the introduction of the regulation on packaging 20 years ago. He also supports higher quota but proposes a successive increase for more investment safety. Peter Orth, managing director of the BKV platform for plastic and recycling, an association of the German plastic industry, asks for the termination of the quota discussion, which distracts from the real challange. Whilst in Germany the plastic recycling has to be only optimized, in the majority of the EU Member States the main problems are not solved at all. With regards to the global challenges like Marine litter (litter pollution of the sea), all participants are appealed for finding a solution. An important step would be an Europe-wide dump prohibition, this is what the participants of the discussion agreed on and were carfully optimistical with regards to the realization.

About 150 guests of the anniversary listened carefully to the discussions and were afterwards taken through both companies by the managing directors Michael Dausel and Herbert Snell. Today, within Multiport Recycling GmbH, 90 employees produce recyclates from polypropylene and polyethylene, especially for the plastic pipe industry as well as products like drainage channels for rain water and cable ducts for the do it yourself sector and the construction industry.

The company MultiPet Gesellschaft für PET Recycling GmbH, which turned up 10 years ago, recycles with around 70 employees, above all PET beverage bottles to so called flakes, which are used in textile, automotive or packaging industry. During the ongoing year, the capacities for Multiport should be increased to 35,000 tons per year and for MultiPet to 30,000 tons per year. “It is not possible to do more, as we then have reached the limit of the plant,” Mr. Snell explains his ambitious plan. The recyclates produced in Bernburg are similar to virgin material but have a more favourable price. MultiPet as well as Multiport deliver to numerous customers in over 15 European countries and outside of Europe.