Estonian recycling company Nelitäht OÜ has launched the Baltic States' first plant for sorting, cleaning and recycling soiled post-consumer plastic packaging waste.
The €1m project in Estonia's capital Tallinn incorporates new infra-red technology in speedier and more efficient sorting and selection of suitable plastic bottles and other waste packaging. It has also provided the firm with a new washing, drying and packaging line to handle soiled waste.
The Nelitäht facility, equipped with Italian and German supplied equipment, can now handle used containers including ketchup and mayonnaise sauce and shampoo soiled bottles which were previously rejected for incineration.
Estonia collects around 20,000 tpa of plastic waste, of which an increasing part is recycled nationally, with the remainder depending on its condition, destined for burning, landfill sites or export for processing in Asia.
Nelitäht, which last year processed 18,000 tonnes of waste material, will reduce waste plastics to granulate suitable for moulding into products such as pallets, pipe or flower pots.
Half the project investment has been provided by the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre which, in late 2010, approved seven different national recycling schemes, three of them focused on improving plastic waste processing. Overall, the European Cohesion Fund has provided €5.8m to the seven projects.
Another company to benefit from investment is the Estonian building materials supplier Bestor Grupp of Tallinn. Its project involves a plant and equipment for recycling 2,400 tpa of waste plastics for roofing and other construction products.