There is a video of the new application at https://video.tomra.com/pet-bottles-vs-trays-autosort
The step-by-step process which concludes with the separation of single-layer PET trays and PET bottles is seamless and flexible. During the preparation for sorting mixed plastics into different polymers, packaging material collected or pre-sorted from municipal solid waste (MSW) first runs through a mechanical treatment process which reduces voluminous materials, mainly soft items such as plastic, film, and non-plastic products. To then separate mixed PET into different polymers, AUTOSORT functions as a combined system, detecting material and colour in combination with grain size. Even with a very mixed material input, this process achieves an impressive sorting efficiency of 95% or greater.More than a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and within the next five years this number is expected to increase by a further 20%. In response, EU regulations are tightening and organisations such as Plastics Recyclers Europe are instigating recycling guidelines for PET trays. This will encourage separate sorting streams to enable PET tray recycling and to develop markets for this packaging product.
A TOMRA AUTOSORT machine with the new TOMRA SHARP EYE technology is available for demonstrations by appointment at the company’s Test Center near Koblenz, Germany.