Sortex powers green bottle drive

08/01/2012 ECO Plastics and Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) joint venture opts for SORTEX to help the soft drinks giant achieve its recycling targets. ECO Plastics is the UK’s leading reprocessor of post-consumer plastics. In February 2011, it set up a joint venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises called Continuum Recycling. Its nerve centre is ECO Plastics’ groundbreaking reprocessing plant at Hemswell in Lincolnshire.

With the capacity to process up to 150,000 tonnes of plastic bottles every year – that’s about two billion two-litre plastic bottles – Hemswell is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced facility of its kind and has just undergone a £15m expansion.

The plant now produces an additional 25,000 tonnes of high-quality recycled plastic a year, on top of the 15,000 tonnes it previously produced. This will be enough to ensure Coca-Cola Enterprises can reach its target of including 25 per cent recycled plastic in all its plastic packaging in 2012.

Greater volumes

To achieve this important environmental goal, greater volumes of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) flakes must be sorted at Hemswell, which is why ECO Plastics has added an additional SORTEX A5 optical sorter to its facility.

The company first invested in the SORTEX Z+ in 2008, and has now added a brand new five-chute model – capable of sorting up to six tonnes per hour – to its Lincolnshire site to work alongside the Z+. ECO Plastics uses SORTEX technology to remove unwanted colour, glued flakes and foreign materials (including wood, aluminum and other metals) from clear and clear blue PET.

Jonathan Short, ECO Plastics managing director, comments: “Our environmentally friendly approach to recycling ensures that all the technology we invest in at the plant is chosen for its energy efficiency and green credentials. Quality and accuracy are extremely important too, of course. We’re delighted to add another SORTEX to our kit list – it will significantly enhance our capabilities.”

SORTEX offers world-beating solutions, says Buhler representative Alex Vaks. “It determines the purity of input product with exceptional accuracy within a split second. Foreign materials are identified on the basis of colour, shape or other optical properties, and removed from the product stream.

Breathtakingly accurate

“State-of-the-art technology makes the SORTEX range breathtakingly accurate. Extremely high-resolution cameras detect the product defects and foreign matter. Optional InGaAs cameras can detect and differentiate between a diversity of foreign materials based on invisible optical properties. Optional PROfile technology identifies product defects through a combination of various parameters such as shape, size and colour.”

The SORTEX range is customisable with five optional modules. Its capacity can be adapted to meet the customers' exact needs and the feed system is specifically tailored to the product, allowing for a wide range of chute options.”


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