Sweden’s Site Zero has started operations this Wednesday. First announced in 2021 following a SEK 1 billion (€87 million) investment by Swedish Plastic Recycling (Svensk Plaståtervinning), the facility is touted as the largest of its kind, and one designed to double the amount of plastic packaging materials being recycled in the Nordic country.
Located in the southern locality of Motala, the recycling facility can sort up to 200,000 tonnes of plastic packaging a year. It can separate up to 12 different types of plastic, in particular PP, HDPE, LDPE, PET tray, PET bottles (coloured and transparent), PP film, EPS, PS, PVC, two grades of Polyolefin mix, metal, and non-plastic waste.
Site Zero is now able to send up to 95% of the packaging it processes for recycling, up from 47% in the old facility, which was only able to sort four kinds of plastic.
Spanning 60,000 square meters, Site Zero includes 60 Near Infra-Red (NIR) sensors, approximately 5 kilometres conveyor belt, which processes 40 tonnes of mixed plastic waste per hour. By 2025, the site is expected to also include a washing and granulation station.
Any fragments of plastic remaining after the sorting process are separated and sent for chemical recycling, turned into new composite products, or used for energy recovery with carbon capture and storage.
“At Site Zero, zero packaging goes to incineration,” said Mattias Philipsson, CEO of Swedish Plastic Recycling. No other facility in the world can say the same.