Sweden is taking the next leap in plastic recycling and celebrated the extension of the Svensk Plaståtervinning polymer sorting plant. Originally opened in 2019, the plant was built in collaboration with Sutco and featured TOMRA sorting technology. Mattias Philipsson, CEO of Svensk Plaståtervinning, invested in the extension of the facility with the aim of closing the loop on plastics and enabling zero waste. Thanks to the most advanced sorting equipment and expertise from global leaders in the recycling industry, the plant is expected to process 42 metric tons of materials per hour and recover 12 different types of plastics from mixed plastic packaging waste.
“Around 33% of plastic packaging in Sweden is recycled, but unfortunately there is still a lot of recyclable materials lost. This offers great potential, one that we are committed to unlocking and transforming into a valuable opportunity for the country and the environment. Since 2019, we have successfully been producing 4 different types of plastics for recycling. We always wanted to do more and with the latest technology, we’re able to accomplish our goals.”, explains Philipsson. With Site Zero, the company’s goal is to enable zero waste, zero downcycling, and zero emissions.
Oliver Lambertz, VP and Head of Operations and Feedstock Sourcing at TOMRA Feedstock, comments: “We have accompanied Svensk Plaståtervinning right from the start and have always been excited to be part of this impactful project. Our partner, Sutco, took the lead in building the plant and we provided all the state-of-the-art sorting technology needed to maximize material recovery. The plant we are seeing here today is the result of three partners working towards a common goal: closing the loop on plastic packaging.”
Site Zero is equipped with more than 60 TOMRA AUTOSORT™ machines. The impressive 5 km sorting line features some of the world’s most sophisticated sorter systems. The high-throughput technology makes it possible to process approximately 42 metric tons of recyclables per hour. What’s more, the post-consumer waste is then separated into 12 different polymer types, including a variety of polyolefins, PET, PS, EPS, PVC, and more. Thanks to the combination of sorting technology and a well-designed sorting process, purity levels of up to 98% can be achieved. The clean material fractions are then sent to recyclers in the EU, but Site Zero is also planning to add recycling capacity to further process the main fractions locally.
“We are excited to have such strong and knowledgeable partners at our side. The collaboration in our first project has already convinced us of TOMRA and Sutco. It is the quality and flexibility their systems offer and the reliable service that made them our partners of choice. Together we aim to make Site Zero a blueprint for sorting facilities in Europe”, explains Philipsson.
Leveraging the power of connectivity and data, all AUTOSORT™ machines are connected to TOMRA Insight, a cloud-based data platform for secure, near-real-time monitoring of all sorting lines. “When we started working with our customer and understood their goals, it was clear that a digital monitoring tool would help optimize the process. This is where TOMRA Insight comes in. It collects sorting data, creates reports, and sends notifications if there are any inconsistencies that affect the overall performance of the sorting line. If this data is used as a strategic management tool, efficiencies can be increased and costs lowered”, describes Lambertz.
More than 300 participants from the plastics value chain were invited to be part of the grand opening on November 15, where they could listen to various presentations and see live demonstrations. Mattias Philipsson, Oliver Lambertz, Michael Ludden, CEO Sutco and Yannick Rödder Project Manager Sutco, shared their perspective and future vision of the project in a press conference. They highlighted that the plant will be the first of its kind and able to produce the highest material qualities, while decreasing its ecological footprint. Philipsson concludes: “Together with our partners, we will make Sweden a leader in recycling.”