Future Facility for Sweden’s Plastic Recycling

With the ability to handle 200,000 tons of plastic packaging per year, the future “Site Zero” recycling facility in Motala, Sweden, will be the largest and most modern plastic recycling facility worldwide.

That is the conviction of the Swedish company “Swedish Plastic Recycling” (Svensk Plaståtervinning), which is continuing to invest in the treatment of plastics and has awarded German-based Sutco RecyclingTechnik GmbH the contract to construct its second facility, “Site Zero” (Motala II). The manufacturer of treatment and sorting systems for waste management drew up the concept for “Site Zero” together with the Norwegian engineering office Mepex Consult and the client, Swedish Plastic Recycling. In 2017, Sutco RecyclingTechnik GmbH had designed and built Motala I – at the time, the most efficient and modern plastic treatment facility in Europe.

The future plant – to be completed in 2023 – will be designed to sort twelve different types of plastic packaging and then recycle them in a carbon-neutral, emissions-free way. The sorting capacity at the 60,000 square meter site is planned to run from PP, HDPE, LDPE, PET trays, colored and clear PET bottles, PP foil, EPS, PS, PVC, two kinds of polyolefin mixtures all the way to metal and non-plastic waste.

According to Swedish Plastic Recycling (Svensk Plaståtervinning), with “Site Zero” the company will be doubling its annual capacity. “Thanks to cutting-edge technology, it will be possible to recycle practically all types of plastic,” the company stated on its homepage. At the future facility, zero packaging would go to incineration. “Site Zero will be completely climate-neutral with zero emissions.” The facility would be powered by renewable energy, “and the small amount of non-recyclable plastic and other waste will be sent to energy recovery without climate emissions, so-called CCS (Carbon Capture Storage). There are also plans to produce renewable energy by covering the building’s large flat roof with solar panels.”

From 2023 onwards, Motala I and Motala II will be fitted with Near Infrared (NIR) sensors and approximately five kilometers of conveyor belt. Thus, according to the information, every single piece of packaging waste produced in Sweden can be processed. Between 2019 and 2023, the total investment scope will be about one billion Swedish Krona (more than 115 million US-Dollar). The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) also contributes with the financing of just over 180 million Swedish Krona (nearly 21 million US-Dollar) through its climate investment program “Klimatklivet”.


(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2022, Page 52, Source: Video Screenshot Swedish Plastic Recycling)