New sorting plant for hard-to-sort plastic waste

New sorting plant for hard-to-sort plastic waste


Steinert and Remondis subsidiary RE Plano have jointly built a new sorting plant for polyolefins in Bochum.


The facility would use AI-based sorting technology from Cologne-based technology provider Steinert to create closed-loop systems for difficult-to-sort plastic fractions such as white and natural-colored plastic waste. A special sensor combination of color and Hyper Spectral Imaging near-infrared sensor enables the new sorting applications, according to the project partners. RE Plano says it is pursuing the goal of achieving a circular economy similar to PET for polyethylene (PE, HD-PE) and polypropylene (PP) materials as well. Plastic fractions that were often neglected because they are difficult to distinguish, such as white and natural-colored plastics as well as single- and multi-layer packaging, are to be sorted in the new plant to purities of over 97 percent in terms of plastic type and color. The high efficiency would be achieved by the AI-based Steinert Intelligent Object Identifier technology and highly integrated processes. Commenting on the collaboration with Steinert, Dr. Harald Lehmann, Business Development & Branch Manager at RE Plano Bochum, says: "With Steinert's support, we have found a solution that goes beyond the legal requirements and pushes the boundaries of what is possible in plastics sorting." According to the company, a large proportion of the plastics to be processed come from Remondis' own LVP sorting facilities and are further processed within the group and ultimately turned into high-quality recyclates (PCR). The Bochum facility has a sorting capacity of 30,000 tons per year.

  • (Sept. 9, 2023)
  • Photo: © Remondis

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