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Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management // Montanuniversitaet Leoben


Project long title

Implementation of a quality-optimized cycle for PO films from the increased quantity light fraction collection



Project description

Flexible food packaging made of plastics has been problematic in recycling. In particular, multi-layer films cannot yet be mechanically recycled. This is due to their complex material combinations. These multi-layer films cannot be mechanically recycled yet because they consist of complex material combinations to meet the diverse requirements that these food packages have to fulfil, such as low weight, light protection, gas impermeability, and mechanical protection.

In the "flex4loop" project, research is now being conducted to determine what developments are necessary to recycle films into high-quality recyclates.

Involvement of the entire value chain

The consortium of the project includes the food and plastics cluster of the Upper Austrian location agency Business Upper Austria, the Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (OFI), and the Montanuniversität Leoben. In addition to these scientific partners, "flex4loop" involves the entire value chain, from packaging and label manufacturers to food packaging companies, retailers, collectors and sorters, recycling companies, and machine manufacturers.


Starting from 2025, half of all plastic packaging in Austria must be recycled. By 2030, this number will rise to 55 percent. To bridge the gap between the current recycling rate of 25 percent and the legally required rate, starting from January 1, 2023, all plastic packaging will be uniformly collected in the Yellow bin or bag throughout Austria. Film packaging plays an important role in this, as they are the most significant packaging type for food, accounting for about 50 percent of the approximately 300,000 tonnes of plastic packaging generated each year.

Benefits for the economy

The insights gained in the project will be compiled into a guideline and made available to the entire industry. Thus, the "flex4loop" project can significantly contribute to achieving EU circular economy goals, improving plastic recycling, and utilizing previously unused resources.


Aims of the project

Main objective

The main objective of the project is to research and develop the technical prerequisites for generating high-quality recyclates from the increased collection of lightweight packaging (LVP) by exploring the potential of pure PE and PP film fractions for small-scale food packaging.

Secondary objectives

1.         Design for Recycling

Cross-industry development and implementation of material solutions based on PP and PE monomaterial (>90%), which guarantee high-quality recyclates from the small film fraction while maintaining product protection and machine compatibility, considering recycling-relevant factors such as labels, printing, etc.

2.        Collection & Sorting

Research and development of practical solutions that enable efficient sorting of a PE and PP monofilm fraction from the unified, increased LVP collection, significantly increasing today's sorting depth of 34% and reaching the goal of 80%.

3.        Recycling & Design from Recycling

Generating sufficiently high-quality recyclates for the production of pure PE and PP packaging for high-quality applications (secondary packaging, hollow bodies, multilayer films). The current recycling rate of 72% should be increased to 80%.



Ffg Eng Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)


Project partner

Prezero PreZero Polymers Austria GmbH

Insignis INSIGNIS Etiketten Erzeugung und Vertrieb GmbH

Plastics Europe PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V.

Ara 5 Altstoff Recycling Austria AG

Coreth G. Coreth Kunststoffverarbeitungs GmbH

Landena Landena KG

Jodl JODL Verpackungen GmbH

Woerle Gebrüder WOERLE Ges.m.b.H

Fischer Plastik FISCHER-PLASTIK GmbH

Sealed Air Sealed Air

Berger Fleischwaren Berger Ges.m.b.H. & Co KG.

Brantner Brantner Österreich GmbH

Sojarei Sojarei Vollwertkost GmbH

Erema EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H.

Schul Flexibles Schur Flexibles

Instantinia 1 Instantina Nahrungsmittel Entwicklungs- und Produktionsges.m.b.H.

Starliinger Starlinger & Co Gesellschaft m.b.H.

Ofi 1 Österreichisches Forschungsinstitut für Chemie und Technik (OFI)

Ma48 Stadt Wien, MA 48 (Abfallwirtschaft, Straßenreinigung und Fuhrpark)

Suedpack SÜDPACK Holding GmbH

Bergmilch Berglandmilch eGen

Hofer Hofer KG



You can send a message directly to the leader of the working group Mister Dr. Gerald Koinig by using the following form.

Gerald Koinig

Gerald Koinig

Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont.
Scientific staff

Phone: +43 3842 / 402-5143
Cell: +43 670 / 20 64 755
Fax: +43 3842 / 402-5102
E-mail: gerald.koinig@unileoben.ac.at


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