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Meraxis: global player in the polymer industry

Innovative solutions for the polymer processing industry are part of the DNA of the international Meraxis group. This family-owned company was created in 2019 out of a merger between two Swiss companies with international reach, REHAU GmbH, headquartered in Muri near Bern, and MB Barter & Trading (Steinhausen, Zug). Since then, it has gone on to become one of the largest distributors in the industry. Meraxis focuses on digital and sustainable approaches and develops solutions for forward-looking uses of polymers.

Around 400 million tons of polymers are produced worldwide every year. We encounter them every day and value their versatile properties – they are malleable, resilient, non-breakable, and temperature-resistant – making them one of the most important materials in modern industrial manufacturing. Find out about Meraxis AG’s role in the polymer industry in our interview with Jobst Wagner, Chairman of the Board of Directors and co-founder of Meraxis, and CEO Dr. Stefan Girschik.


What opportunities has the merger of the two family businesses brought about?

J.W.: We offer access to supply sources all over the world as well as a global logistics and partner network. This enables us to not only supply standard goods but also more complex, technical and, increasingly, recycled polymers in any desired quantity and quality. Added to this are decades of technical expertise in development and processing for a wide range of applications and industries. This combination delivers added value for our international customers and gives us a unique edge over our competitors.

Meraxis is more than just a distributor, then. How does your approach differ from that of your competitors?

S.G.: Unlike traditional distributors and traders, we see ourselves as a one-stop shop: we can supply our customers in the polymer processing industry with everything they need from a single source. Besides the right material, this also includes consulting tailored to the end product and the production process, as well as the necessary processing machines and tools. With the appropriate logistics and financing solution, we are able to offer a full service package of products and services.

In addition, we are investing heavily in digital approaches in what is a fairly traditional industry, making us trailblazers in the sector. We want to handle the bulk of our sales via digital channels by 2025. Above all, digital solutions create transparency and efficiency in the still highly fragmented recyclate market and in global supply chains.

There are many different economic and political contexts that need to be considered in the global market. What do you have to pay particular attention to?

S.G.: We have to keep an eye on developments such as the trade war between China and the U.S., of course, as well as global volatilities. On top of that, people do business differently from country to country. Because we are represented at over 25 locations on almost all continents, we are familiar with the local rules of play you need to follow to succeed as a reliable partner.

Your headquarters are in Muri near Bern. How does being based in the Canton of Bern benefit you?

J.W.: We benefit from the generally good quality of living and the high level of innovation in Switzerland. Our people – we have almost 200 employees here – know that, too. We have been rooted here as a family business for decades. Bern, one of our two administrative bases in Switzerland, offers cultural diversity, a high recreational value, a family-friendly environment, good infrastructure, and excellent educational institutions such as the University of Bern. It’s the ideal environment for our international and multilingual workforce.

Plastic and the environment is a highly charged subject in many ways. How do you handle this at Meraxis?

S.G.: For us, polymer processing and the circular economy go hand in hand. They are an essential part of our corporate strategy. Our focus is on supplementing conventional materials with recycling innovation in a useful way and systematically promoting a functioning circular economy. It is not the versatile material per se that presents a problem but rather its responsible use. We work closely with customers to develop innovative solutions, enabling us to come up with novel and sustainable packaging solutions for the food industry, edge bands made from recycled raw materials for furniture manufacturers, or intelligent applications for the automotive industry, for example. And in all of this, our focus is on high-value polymer applications – not single-use plastics.

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