The European Inventor Award 2019 recognises plastic recycling

Two Austrian inventors developed a plastic waste recycling machine with 6000 of them in operation worldwide.

Since 2006, the European Inventor Award of the EPO has been rewarding patented inventions that have made a significant contribution to innovation, the economy and society in Europe. The jury includes European patent examiners, examiners of the patent offices of the member states and the general public.

This year 2019, in a sign of the times, the award has been given to two Austrians, K. Feichtinger and M. Hackl for their approach to plastic recycling technology. Thanks to their machines (EREMA Group) capable of efficiently sorting and separating materials, many types of plastic waste can be turned into high quality pellets for new products. A key element of the process is ‘Counter Current’ technology where the waste enters an extruder which rotates in the reverse direction of the screw, which enables lower temperatures and greater productivity.

More than 6000 of their machines in operation worldwide produce 14.5 million tonnes of plastic pellets annually.

Patents EP2766166, EP2689908, EP2766157, EP2766158, EP2766159