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Polykar & EREMA - A Plastic Waste Recycling Success Story

Wednesday, 22. July 2020

Posted by Mike Horrocks

Commercial Waste Recycling Example

Polykar, a family-owned business founded in 1987, has become an innovative North American leader in sustainable flexible plastic packaging through their journey spanning over 30 years. The Canadian based manufacturer has always taken responsibility to protect the environment and prevent any pollution associated with its operations.

Polykars early recognition of the importance of plastic waste recycling pushed them to want provide an answer to the increasing demand for recycled products using their post-industrial and post-commercial plastic waste. In addressing this, the company had to solve multiple technical challenges and develop solid relationships with regional businesses including retailers, warehouses and industrial operators to ensure a steady supply of plastic material to be recycled. 

“Our vision was that in the future, recycled content would be more important. So, our mission became to ensure the best product consistency and quality made from recycled plastic waste content. For this to happen, we needed to gain better control of the entire production process,” explained Amir Karim, President and CEO of Polykar. 

In 2009, Polykar was using recycled waste resins from other suppliers. “We had some challenges with the quality and consistency of the recycled plastics pellets supplied by others and this led to issues on the manufacturing side. We realized that the key to being successful in a commodity business such as ours was to have a constant, reliable source of recycled raw materials. Perhaps the only way to achieve this, we thought, was to do it ourselves.” 

With this in mind, Polykar began researching plastic waste recycling technology that would meet their three key criteria. “We wanted the technology to be operator-friendly, reliable, and our partner to be renowned for their excellent customer service.” 

Leading the Way in Plastic Waste Recycling

Polykar has found EREMA to be that ideal partner in playing an active role in creating a circular economy for plastics by being at the forefront of giving flexible packaging a second life.

Today, Polykar uses 100% of its in-house plastic materials which is recycled to manufacture can liners and helps solve the challenge of additional plastic waste. Their niche is to use both post-industrial sources of plastic and post-commercial waste. The latter involves recycling materials such as pallet stretch film, plastic wrap used to protect clothing during shipping or after dry-cleaning, toy and furniture plastic wrap, etc. 

Post Commercial Plastic Waste Recycling Product

Post Commercial or Post-Industrial Plastic Waste Recycled Product by Polykar


“EREMA equipment is ideal to recycle post-commercial plastic waste as our laser filters can screen contaminants such as labels and tape. Polykar has capitalized on this feature to develop their business model and divert significant amounts of plastic that would otherwise be landfilled,” added Mike Horrocks, CEO of EREMA North America.


Plastic Waste Recycling Example

Plastic Waste Recycling in Action -  Post-Commercial Packaging Being Recycled


Since purchasing their first EREMA machine in 2009, Polykar has expanded to 4 production lines producing over 10,000 tons of recycled plastic annually. They’re now breaking ground on a second manufacturing facility in Alberta, Canada which will also include EREMA machinery.


Plastic Waste Recycling Best Practices Example

Plastic Waste to be Recycled Being Loaded into EREMA Machine


While the initial key selection criteria have remained true for EREMA, what keeps Polykar loyal is the continuous stream of innovative solutions that EREMA provides. 





“With EREMA, every few years there’s a new solution that we’re able to incorporate into our process or evaluate for future investment. The Laser Filter is one innovation that we’ve used, and the BluPort remote monitoring system is one that we’re considering. Their mindset of constantly improving their technology keeps them ahead, even while they continue to excel at the core competencies of being easy to operate, reliable, and providing excellent customer service. Every time we’re thinking of a new source of plastic, Mike and the team in Ipswich, MA respond with ‘we won’t know until we try!’ To me, this means we have a willing partner to test new materials and help us to establish a reliable process to make recycling a viable business,” concluded Polykar’s President.


New Resin from Plastic Waste Recycling

New Resin from Plastic Waste Recycling



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