Europe's largest lightweight packaging sorting plant opens in Austria following €65M investment

TriPlast plant in Ennshafen will process 50 per cent of Austria's plastic and metal packaging waste.

Interior of the TriCast lightweight packaging sorting facility, showing conveyor belts and sorting equipmentA new state-of-the-art sorting plant for lightweight packaging has officially opened in Ennshafen, Upper Austria. The €65 million facility, named TriPlast, is a joint venture between ARA, Bernegger and Der Grüne Punkt, and claims to be Europe's most modern and Austria's largest sorting plant for lightweight packaging.

The plant has an annual sorting capacity of 100,000 tonnes of plastic and metal packaging, which represents half of all Austrian lightweight packaging. This covers all packaging that is not made of glass or paper, instead primarily handling plastic, metals and composites such as drinks cartons.

TriPlast will process materials collected from households via yellow bags and bins, primarily drawn from Austria with a small proportion coming from southern Germany. The facility has been configured with advanced sorting technologies, including air classifiers to separate plastic films from other materials.

Austria's Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler lauded the plant's potential role in achieving national recycling targets: "Austria has set itself the goal of doubling the recycling of plastic packaging by 2025. TriPlast processes valuable materials for subsequent recycling and thus saves raw materials."

The plant is configured to handle a wide range of items such as shampoo bottles, canisters, films, and components for the automotive and electrical industries. TriPlast's technology includes 2.5 km of conveyor belt, 160 km of cable, 38 near-infrared devices, and three screening drums. With a hall height of 25 metres, it is one of the highest sorting plants in Europe, designed to ensure efficient material flow.

TriPlast focuses on sorting, with materials for reprocessing sent to other sites in Germany, including subsidiaries of Der Grüne Punkt.