Borealis to acquire German plastics recycler mtm plastics GmbH and mtm compact GmbH

Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, announces today that it has an agreement to fully acquire the German plastics recycler mtm plastics GmbH and mtm...

With this sell-off the Niedergebra-based plastics recycler seeks to continue its expansion, Michael Scriba, CEO of mtm, explains the acquisition: “Together with our major partner Borealis on our side, we will continue the successful growth of the last years also in the future.“ So far, mtm has established itself on the European market with its two brand-name products Dipolen® and Purpolen®.

“Plastics are simply too valuable to be disposed of in landfills. Plastic recycling provides a circular business opportunity in a growing market within a broader sustainability agenda,” explains Alfred Stern, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology. “There are many areas in which mechanical recycling of post-consumer waste make business and ecological sense. The acquisition of mtm plastics and mtm compact reflects our pro-active and dedicated “keep discovering” approach to provide specific and innovative solutions in tackling core global challenges.”

Press release from 2 June 2016


"Packaging needs a recycling-friendly design"

Photo: © mtm/um

In the current edition of K-Profi, a trade journal for plastics processors, mtm managing partner Michael Scriba reports in detail on the topic of "recycling-friendly plastics packaging". The editor of K-Profi, Karin...

After all, people are calling for higher recycling quotas all the time: in the planned resources act, a quota of 72% is being targeted instead of the present 36%. As an introduction to the topic, the journal says this can only be achieved through fresh ideas and new initiatives. Scriba said he wants all packaging to be designed from the very beginning so that it is recycling-friendly. He then brings it down to a common denominator: "A pack is fundamentally suitable for high-quality recycling (…) if its specific weight deviates significantly from 1 g/cm³ in order to ensure an unambiguous result in the float/sink separation process."

Later during the discussion, the subject was discussed of the core demands on recycling-friendly packaging. They include:

  • dispensing with PET for trays because they cannot be recycled,
  • avoiding plastic-paper laminates, which are neither easy to separate nor can be processed together,
  • the sparing use of (as light as possible) pigments, because they cannot be removed from the plastics matrix,
  • dispensing with fillers such as chalk, which bring about a different density and thus make plastics identification difficult or falsify the results.

Turning his attention to the supermarket shelves, Scriba writes in K-Profi that although some things are moving in the right direction, far more should still be done to raise recycling volumes. That is why he, as a member of the bvse (Federal Association Secondary Raw Materials and Disposal) and the Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE), also spends a lot of his time attending conferences and consulting with major packaging producers to spread the word about recycling-friendly design.

More information: article in K-Profi 1-2/2016 (only in German language)


Wiener: "Open up the yellow bin for other types of plastic waste"

Michael Wiener, CEO, DSD – Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG, Cologne:

"When the "green dot" set up the dual system in Germany in 1990, it encountered wide-ranging scepticism, particularly as far as plastics...


mtm cooperates with edding

Since the autumn of last year, edding has also been on of mtm's customers. mtm supplies the regranulate for its EcoLine markers, which consist of 90 percent recycled plastic. Purpolen® PP is used for the production of the...

At this point, the philosophies of the two companies fit together very well: responsible handling of resources, conservation of raw materials and avoidance of climate-damaging emissions: "The cooperation with edding is  a perfect example of what is known in technical circles as “cascade use”, in which we recycle the products as often as possible," says mtm’s managing partner Michael Scriba, praising the new cooperation. Per Ledermann, CEO of edding AG, describes the cooperation as "an enormous success for us and above all for the environment."

For the recycling system, edding offers its customers a return box for end-of-life markers and pens. The customers can send back the box when it is full free of charge. mtm receives the collected plastic and produces from it new, high-grade polyolefins for the manufacture of new plastics products. The aluminium content is returned to the cycle. The remainder that cannot be recycled goes for energy generation.


German plastics recycler mtm plastics supplies rPP for new “EcoLine” marker

Writing utensils producer Edding has raised its environmental and recycling activities. In October, the company expanded its “EcoLine” series by markers that contain up to 90% recyclate. Most of the regrind is sourced from mtm...

The permanent, whiteboard and flipchart markers of the EcoLine range now contain mtm’s “Purpolen” rPP – a high-value, clean recyclate, which is produced using a patented sorting technology that differentiates between the type and colour of the production scrap. Purpolen is said to be particularly suitable for demanding end-user products. Aside from rPP, the product family also includes extrusion and injection moulding rHDPE grades, available in a wide range of colours. Edding’s eco-markers are available in black, red, blue and green.

News release from November, 4, 2015 (PDF, Download)


mtm plastics at Fakuma 2015: High-quality recycled polyolefins in many colours

mtm plastics will focus on its Dipolen® and Purpolen® product lines at this year’s Fakuma in Friedrichshafen / Germany from October 13-17, stand B2/2210.

The segregated Purpolen®PE and Purpolen®PP types are of particularly high quality. Recycled polyolefins from mtm are noted for their wide field of application.

Apart from the Dipolen®PE and Dipolen®PP granulate types, which have been providing outstanding results for many years because of their flexibility and versatility, the Purpolen® granulate grades have now also become well-established on the market. mtm’s modern processing plants ensure high-purity, colour-sorted material from which mtm produces very high-grade granulate. The various extrusion and injection moulding types are also suitable for the production of B2C brand articles.

News release from August, 17, 2015 (PDF, Download)


Scriba at Identiplast: We need more input

Michael Scriba was invited to present his view of things at the Identiplast Show on April 29, 2015 in Rome. He did so with his customary commitment and incisiveness. His key message was that we are recycling far too little in...

Only four percent of European demand can be met with recycled plastics, said Scriba referring to figures from Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE). And why? Because only 26 percent of European plastic waste is recycled and 50 percent of the collected plastics is exported to other countries in Europe. Yet four percent was far too little to be able to meet the demand – in the meantime also from one or two major plastics processors. Something needs to be done urgently so that plastics recyclers can get hold of more material for high-quality recycled plastics.

Scriba listed several parties that should act: Politicians should ensure through more stringent regulations that no more plastics end up on landfills and that incineration no longer remains the easiest way to get rid of plastics. Staggered landfill and incineration levies together with country-specific recycling quotas could pave the way for this. He also called on the trade and brand companies as well as filling and bottling firms to pay more attention to recyclability in their product design. Finally, he said, the task for communities was to simplify and standardise the collection and sorting of their plastic waste, because speeding up the collection is an "absolute must". Having said that, recyclers and their suppliers still have to work out together how to avoid the risk of declining quality that inevitably comes with increasing volumes. The "Total plastics sorting" concept practiced by mtm in dialogue with sorting plants was one possibility. With simplified processing, it ensures optimised polyolefin recycling with comparatively high yields. Yet in this respect, there were no limits to recyclers’ creativity.

For more information, please download the presentation by Dr Michael Scriba, Recycling in Europe, Identiplast 2015.


Maurer: "More recycling and more recyclable products – now"

Karl-H. Foerster (photo: PlasticsEurope)

Prof. Dr. Helmut Maurer, European Commission, DG Environment, Waste Management and Recycling, Brussels

"More recycling and more recyclable products – now"

Europe is a continent with few natural resources. We should concentrate on using our resources as efficiently and as sparingly as possible. Incinerating products at the end of their lifecycle should therefore only be carried out strictly in accordance with the waste hierarchy if there is absolutely no other possibility for putting them to use. Only in this way is the current European waste management legislation to be interpreted. Any ideas, such as those rearing their heads again at the present time, to declare the incineration of waste – and especially plastics – a key factor for safeguarding energy will inevitably harbour the risk of stimulating the demand for incineration and contradicting the legal duty for more recycling. An energy policy that relies on a given basic quantity of waste and a waste policy that aims primarily to avoid it are an obvious contradiction.

The European waste policy is currently under scrutiny. The Commission has announced that it wants to drive forward the change to a closed-loop economy even more ambitiously than before. What we need is not a minor reform but a radical paradigm change. In order to get away from a linear economy to a closed-loop economy, we need products that are long-lasting, reusable, repairable and, at the end of it all – where possible – 100% recyclable. Especially the latter point is a major challenge because we cannot achieve this solely with waste policy instruments such as higher recycling quotas. What is needed is more courage to provide a product policy with requirements that allow sustainable products. It is the task of the Commission to set the course correctly. 2015 could thus be an historic year.

Kind regards
Helmut Maurer

Caveat: This article does not reflect the position of the European Commission in any way, but is exclusively an expression of the author's opinions.


Statement from mtm: Hearing in the NRW state parliament

In March, mtm was asked by the NRW state parliament to attend a hearing to tackle possibilities for promoting the recycling of plastics. The CDU party had initiated the hearing at the beginning of the year by submitting an...

To begin with, Scriba made it clear that the waste product hierarchy (waste avoidance, reuse, recycling, other utilisation, disposal), which was written into Germany’s waste management act from the EU waste product directive, did not have any practical significance – especially not for plastics. No-one could deny that the minimum calorific value defined there – which has to be complied with by plastics generally – encouraged incineration rather than recycling.

To promote plastics recycling more effectively, he said, measures were needed that provide for greater investment security. At present, there was a lack of recycling capacities in Germany because companies could not recognise any reliable price structure. The decline in prices, especially with the disposal of commercial waste, due to overcapacities in domestic waste incineration had been hindering recycling for many years. No German recycler could compete with the low disposal costs, as he also had to cope with high energy costs and stringent environmental regulations. It was very difficult to fight against measures such as minimum recycling quotas, pre-treatment regulations and sorting requirements. According to Scriba, the only thing that could help would be to define a maximum calorific value for commercial waste for disposal, coupled with an incineration levy if this value were not observed. The resultant income could flow into a fund from which, for example, any downtime costs for excess incineration capacities could be covered.

Scriba continued that, in addition, safeguards relating to raw material supplies and defined quality standards for plastic waste were necessary to achieve greater investment security. To ensure adequate capacity utilisation of their plants, however, the recycling companies need sufficiently long contract running times. In view of the low incineration prices, however, their negotiating position was exceedingly weak. To define quality standards as are usual, for example, with glass, metal or paper, but were still lacking for plastics, a committee should be set up consisting of recyclers, logistic experts and collection points to jointly define criteria that take into account above all the requirements of product legislation. Here, too, Scriba would like to see a "political boost".

On the question of suitable recycling quotas, Scriba advocates something between an input-related and output-related quota. The argument against a quota that relates to the input volume is the lack of quality criteria because water or non-reusable material is also included. The argument against a quota related to the output volume is the practice of material mixing, in which the product fails to comply with the specified quality. However, tracking these product flows right the way through to the end product involves disproportionate cost. Apart from that, the companies would have to reveal production secrets that have nothing whatsoever to do with the packaging regulations. Nobody does that voluntarily. For this reason, Scriba favours a compromise solution: an input-related quota that includes flat-rate reductions e.g. for moisture or impurities that are confirmed by neutral tests.


mtm plastics continues to grow

mtm-Geschäftsführer Torsten Meyer (photo: Roland Obst)

mtm plastics intends to continue with its growth strategy. By the end of 2016, Europe’s leading producer of recycled polyolefins from mixed plastic waste plans to invest around 8 million euros in the expansion of its production...

mtm currently produces some 30,000 metric tons of granulate in Niedergebra with a workforce of 88. From 2016, around 110 employees will provide for an output of nearly 40,000 tons. For the planned growth in sales, however, mtm will focus not only higher volumes but also on improved quality in order to gain a higher price for the granules.

On completion of the new warehouses, the company will shift its attention to enlarging the production area by some 20,000 square metres. This will mean extending the present production hall by 20 metres and demolishing the administration building that now stands there. A new administration building will be erected elsewhere.

But mtm is also thinking further ahead, beyond 2016. Within the next five years, the company plans to build a second plant at a new location because its site in Niedergebra is no longer big enough. If the conditions allow, mtm wants to locate the new plant in the same region – in the Nordhausen district of Thuringia.


mtm signs up

mtm plastics has signed up to the Thuringia Sustainability Agreement (NAT), a voluntary covenant between the government of the German State of Thuringia and businesses located in Thuringia.

NAT brings together politics, administration and industry and covers the topics of climate and environmental protection, the conservation of resources, and energy efficiency.

Common to all the companies and organisations that have signed the sustainability agreement is the joint understanding of what promotes sustainable development, namely the careful and responsible handling of natural resources, oriented by a sense of responsibility to subsequent generations. mtm plastics embraces these principles every day – with the production of resource-sparing raw materials.

For more information visit


Purpolen® hits the market

Photo: Ralf Gosch/fotolia

The Purpolen® product line newly developed by mtm has been meeting with a very favourable response from our customers.

At the end of last year, we launched the new Purpolen® line, for which our starting products are strictly sorted according to colour and type of plastic. The resultant PP and HDPE granules have convincing properties in terms of their MFI, extrudability and above all colouring properties. The experiences gained by our customers since January with these materials confirm the quality and scope of application of this product range.

We invested last year in a new production line. Since January this year, we have been running the new Purpolen® product line at full capacity alongside the familiar Dipolen® line. The very positive feedback we have since received from our customers concerning the quality and extended fields of application of the new regranulate shows we were right to further expand our capacities for Purpolen®. For this purpose, we acquired major components of the SORTEC facility, which at that time had been installed by Duale System Deutschland as a project at the EXPO 2000 World Exhibition in Hanover, and, since then, had been constantly modernised. It is now being used in modified, modernised form at our plant in Niedergebra to expand our production capacity. The forecast capacity requirements for Purpolen® demonstrate once again that mtm's strategy of developing into a plastics producer is the right one, says Managing Director Torsten Meyer, who is responsible for technology matters.

The base materials for Purpolen® are HDPE and PP plastic waste, which we obtain among other things from household waste collections. We process it at our plant in several stages, sorting it according to colour and type of plastic, before it goes for extrusion. The end-result is a regranulate material suitable for the production of high-quality products, also for the consumer segment. We can always comply with customer requests for specific colours and properties.

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Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, announces today that it has an agreement to fully acquire the German plastics recycler mtm plastics GmbH and mtm...

On February 5, 2016, Bodo Ramelow, Minister-President of the German State of Thuringia, paid a visit to our company together with Agriculture Minister Birgit Keller, Chief Administrative Officer of the district of Nordhausen,...


It is the designers who take the first major step in improving the recyclability of plastics packaging. The main aims of "RecyClass" are to give them the necessary support, sensitise them to aspects of recyclability, and provide them with a practicable tool for this purpose. The tool, developed by PRE, is an interactive online questionnaire to help designers and manufacturers establish how recycling-friendly their packaging is.

We are looking for

mtm gives preference to pre-sorted plastic waste of polyethylene and polypropylene.

We deal with your orders quickly and keep you informed on their progress.

Susanne Kaufhold, Customer Service

mtm plastics GmbH

A member of the Borealis Group