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Mixed Plastics Packaging Recycling

Technology Trials and Key Results

John Simmons Director
www.recoup.org

Presentation outline
• • • • • • • • What is ‘mixed plastics packaging’? Technology overview Processing of whole items Processing of flaked items Process design development Recommended approaches Trial conclusions Recoup opinion

www.recoup.org

org .recoup.What is mixed plastics packaging? Consumption • Consumption data • Collection systems • Upstream sorting activities Output • Communication www.

• Non packaging plastics • Added pla trays • Added plastic film • Removal of obvious contamination • Bagged or baled • Sample refinement www.org . This includes rigid and flexible plastic items of all • Other materials polymer types and colours that are typically found in the household waste bin.• Plastic bottles What is mixed plastics packaging ? This project is focussed on all mixed plastic packaging sourced from the domestic waste stream.recoup. but does exclude plastic bottles and non packaging items.

Technology overview Film Separation Rigid Item Separation Flake Processing KME Stadler NIR systems Pellenc QinetiQ Sims Titech B&B Buhler Sortex Flottweg Hamos Herbold Pla.To S+S SEA Srl Swiss Polymera TLT Unisensor www.recoup.org .

org .recoup.Processing of whole items Separating film from rigid plastics Stadler Ballistic Separator KME Airdrum www.

99% Films purity 78% .org .recoup.86% Throughput 3 – 6 tph • Other flat materials • Flat rigid items • Carrier bags • NIR systems www.Separation of film from rigid material Stadler Outputs KME Outputs Rigids purity 97% .

Processing of whole items Whole item sorting using infrared Light Source Camera Array EJECT www.org .recoup.

Processing of whole items PP PVC PET PE PS PLA www.org .recoup.

recoup.org . quality Pack contamination Manual sorting Colour sorting Black plastics www.Processing of whole items Plastic PP PE PET PS PVC PLA Throughput : 3 tph Output Purity 96% 94% 94% 87% 93% 97% • • • • • • Single or double sort Process speed vs.

recoup. air classifier and pre-cleaning equipment used to remove excess contamination and dirt before the separation stage. friction cleaning. www.org .Processing of flaked items Separating polyolefin flake Shredder.

recoup. PLA sank. Water based process. www. Electrostatic separation.org . Specific polymer separation. Primary /secondary separation. Can process film streams.Float / sink system results Technology A B C D E Polyolefin Purity 100% 99% 98% 100% 95% • • • • • • • Throughput 1-2 tph.

org . • Sieving preparation.Flake colour separation • Camera colour identification and air ejection. • Throughput up to 4 tph for plastic flake. • Material from polymer separation trials.76% purity) www.recoup. 3rd pass clear PO flake (99% purity) 2nd pass Clear PET (98.

24% colour www.recoup.org .Flake colour separation 25% colour Diagrams from Nextek < 5% colour <1.

1 182.Dry cleaning of flake (Pla.To) Material Input Output Plastic Output Dirt Heavies Output Total Losses Kg 195. Can process film. www.org .7 1% 36% 56% • • • • Rigid flaked plastic packaging.7 69.3 110.8 2.6 12.recoup. Throughput 3 tph (<15% dirt). Polymer sorted streams.

Process design development Baling Pre-sort Film separation Whole item separation Granulator Compounding / Extrusion Flake separation Flake dry cleaning Bagging Trialled technology Linking technology Output preparation www.org .recoup.

Recommended approaches Debaler Manual Pre-sort Ballistic Separator Film manual QA Single eject NIR x3 Manual sort Clear PET bottles Shredder x4 Dry Clean x4 Float / Sink x4 Compounding x3 Double eject NIR Baler / storage Bagging Line x4 PP pellet PE pellet PO pellet PET flake Residue www.org Baled Clear PET bottles Whole baled PVC Whole baled PS Residue .recoup.

org .Recommended approaches Debaler Manual Pre-sort Ballistic Separator Manual QA Manual sort Clear PET bottles Shredder Dry Clean Float / Sink Compounding Baler Bagging Line Clear PET bottles Film Residue PO pellet Residue www.recoup.

6m www. Process design B Recycling level per tonne input Capital cost 4. • Environmental and economic review.42% £15.recoup.4m Process design C 3.1% £2.05 te 67.Process design review • 40.000 tpa plants (6 tph). • Process designs B and C are technically robust.73 te 62.org . • Additional material infeed for process B.

Project conclusions 1 Mixed plastics packaging input material • 30% plastic films.recoup. • NIR systems can successfully identify and remove specific polymers. • Flake separation achieves cleaning and high purity polyolefin output stream. www. • Need to add value to film / sink fraction. • Wide variation in content of mixed plastics packaging streams. • Effectively sorts PLA bioplastic and carton board but not black items. Technology performance • High level of film / rigids separation. • Dry friction cleaning effectively removes surface dirt.org . • Water based systems cannot accept high levels of contamination. An essential step. • Colour sorting technology can achieve high separation levels. 54% rigid plastics packaging and 16% residual waste.

recoup. • Process may be refined when specifications developed. www. • Consider options for flaked sink material. • Review input stream polymer types / solution for black plastics.org .Project conclusions 2 Process designs • Two main approaches appear feasible. • Develop good practice for mixed plastics packaging collection and sorting. • Affect of introducing mixed plastics packaging recovery on existing systems. Further research • Changes required to create cleaner mixed plastics packaging streams. • Pre-separation of residual waste from the input stream is necessary. • Develop UK end market demand. • Any solutions must be robust.

www.Recoup opinion • • • • Quality of other recyclates must not be compromised.org . The most visible remaining element of the household waste stream.recoup. Output specifications and market values to be developed. Domestic mixed plastic packaging is a commodity which has not yet realised its recycling potential in the UK. Structured and clear communications needed.

01733 375673 John.recoup.org .org www.org www.simmons@recoup.Thank you for listening John Simmons Director t.recoup.