Sorting Plants for Lightweight Packaging

Thanks to our broad wealth of experience, our high-performance plants achieve a high degree of sorting purity – which is particularly vital today, in times of worldwide plastic waste pollution.

STADLER experience

“With STADLER having constructed over 50 plants around the globe in the past 15 years, we are pioneers in the field of sorting all types of lightweight packaging.”

Material properties

Packaging resulting from everyday use is sorted in our sorting plants for light packaging. Such waste consists of various types of plastics / polymers, aluminium, cans or composite materials, such as drink cartons.

Example process description

Consumers collect lightweight packaging in plastic bags. These are initially placed in the bag opener. The materials from the bags are then transported to a trommel screen. Here, they are classified into different grain sizes. The fine fraction is sorted out of the process at this point, as it contains many non-recyclable impurities.
In the medium fractions, films are sorted out first by means of windshifters. Ferrous metals are then removed by a magnet, and nonferrous metals are extracted from the material flow by an eddy current separator.
The main stream enters a ballistic separator, where it is sorted according to shape (flat [2D], rolling [3D], screening). The 3D fraction that exits the ballistic separator is fed to several NIR devices, which reliably separate the PET, PP, PE, PS and Tetra materials. The trommel screen overflow is transported to a windshifter before subsequently entering a sorting cabin for re-sorting. The sorted fractions are pressed into bales for volume reduction and improved handling during transport.

Main components

  • Bag opener
  • Trommel screen
  • Ballistic separator
  • Near infrared technology NIR
  • Overband magnet
  • Eddy current separator
  • Windshifter
  • Sorting cabin
  • Baler
  • Container press
  • Conveyor
  • Steel construction with walkway
  • Electrical engineering

Output fractions

  • Ferrous metal
  • Film
  • Fine grain
  • Mixed plastic
  • Non-ferrous metal
  • PE
  • PET bottles
  • PET trays
  • PP
  • PS
  • Refuse derived fuel
  • Small film
  • Tetrapak


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