Sweden expands recycling plant for plastic packaging waste

Plastic packaging waste on a sorting plant's conveyor belt. The packaging is somewhat blurred, suggesting that the conveyor moves at high speed.
Svensk Plaståtervinning plans to significantly expand the
capacity of its "Site Zero" sorting plant (representative image)
02.09.2021 − 

The Swedish organisation Svensk Plaståtervinning (Swedish Plastic Recycling) is investing in the expansion of its sorting plant for plastic packaging waste in Motala, which opened in 2019. Located between Gothenburg and Stockholm, the "Site Zero" sorting plant will have an annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes once the expansion is complete. Until now, Svensk Plaståtervinning's plant has been able to sort about 120,000 tonnes of packaging waste a year.

The new sorting equipment is being purchased from the German plant engineering company Sutco Recycling Technik, which also designed and built the original facility. The first stage of the plant included 19 near-infrared sensors from Tomra. When the expansion is completed, the facility will employ some 60 NIR sensors and 5 km of conveyors. Svensk Plaståtervinning plans to add washing and repelletisation steps by 2025.

Total investment around €100m between 2019 and 2023

Svensk Plaståtervinning, which previously operated as Plastkretsen, is responsible for the recovery of plastic packaging waste from households. The extended producer responsibility (EPR) system expects to spend around SEK1.0bn, or around €100m, on the Motala project between 2019 and 2023. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) is also contributing to the project with funding of just over SEK180m.

Once the fully automated plant is equipped with 60 NIR sensors in 2023, is to be able to sort all of the household plastic packaging waste generated in Sweden for chemical and conventional recycling. With the expansion, Svensk Plaståtervinning says the size of its staff would also increase from 80 to 150-200 employees.

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