Recycling processes produce the best results when they are supplied with clean materials sorted by type. This fundamental rule also applies to plastics. The precise sorting of plastic waste is therefore decisive for all subsequent steps involved in the recovery of used plastic, and as such has high value-added potential. That's why high-quality, state-of-the-art sorting facilities are an indispensable component in a sustainable infrastructure.
Schwarz Produktion Sorting Facilities
Schwarz Produktion is responsible for processing the PET beverage bottles returned by customers to Lidl and Kaufland stores in Germany. Its plastics and recycling plants in Germany sort, clean, and shred bottles then process them into food-safe PET regranulate. The plastics processing carried out by Schwarz Produktion thus results in new bottle blanks, so-called preforms. These preforms are then converted back into new bottles in the Group’s own beverage plants. They're therefore a full-fledged circular product, since used bottles are always being turned into new ones.
Step by Step From the Old to the New Bottle
PreZero Light Packaging Sorting Facilities
In Germany, light packaging is collected separately during recyclable collection as part of the so-called dual system. Currently the most well-known collection system is that which uses yellow bins and yellow bags (the so-called Gelbe Tonne/Gelber Sack system).
Our PreZero waste disposal division not only collects light packaging made of plastic and aluminum/tin; it also processes it in its sorting facilities. Packaging is sorted and recycled in several steps in over 30 facilities in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium. First, sheet film and labels are removed from the packaging, then it is sorted by size and assigned to the proper material flows. These sorted groups are then pressed into bales and transported to recovery and recycling operators, such as our own PreZero Polymers. The recyclable materials undergo further mechanical processing and are converted into recyclates there to enable them to be subsequently processed into recycling products or circular products.
Waste Separation Starts with the Consumer
What's true of every recycling loop also applies to an optimum recyclable material flow: the desired overall results will only be achieved, providing that every phase of the process works properly. Currently about one third of materials collected through light packaging collection systems in Germany consist of residual waste which cannot be recycled. In order for sorting to work properly and recycling to be effective, it's essential that packaging is already sorted by type and disposed of properly at home. This is because only unmixed materials can be recycled.