Near Infrared Sorting of Plastics from Household Waste Reduces Emissions by 75 %


This plant outside of Stockholm is the first of its kind in Sweden, using the Near-Infrared Technology to automatically sort out plastics from household waste. A total of 11,000 tonnes of plastic and 2,500 tonnes of metal are sorted out each year. The facility is Sweden's first where, with the help of pioneering technology, plastic and metal that was previously burned up are being sorted, increasing the amount of recycled material. This means that the directives from the EU on recycling are met, offering owner municipalities a sustainable solution.

The sorting plant is established on-site the incineration plants in Brista, Stockholm. Sample analyzes have shown that the waste in the Stockholm region contains 18 percent by weight of plastic. The plastic gives rise to 60% of the CO2 emissions that occur when burning the waste. The post-sorting facility in Brista makes it possible to reduce CO2 emissions from waste incineration by 75% by sorting out plastic and metal that remains in the waste after household and business sorting. All this together means that the CO2 emissions from each tonne of waste that is incinerated is reduced from approx. 400 kg of CO2 for unsorted waste to 100 kg of CO2. In addition, material recycling is increased, which means a reduced load on the earth's resources.

<h2> New technique </h2>
In Brista Eftersorteringsanläggning, a new technology, near infrared (NIR), is being used, which separates plastic from other waste with the help of compressed air. Here, around 11,000 tonnes of plastic and just over 2,500 tonnes of metal are being sorted each year.
The plastic that is picked out goes to Swedish Plastic Recycling in Motala, where the plastic is sorted into different fractions. The recycled plastic becomes raw material for new products.

This sorting operation in Brista is built in collaboration with Stockholm Exergi, Sörab and is part-financed by Klimatklivet (Sweden's national green financing scheme).

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Stockholm Stockholms län

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