Last year in December, Dutch recycling company Umincorp announced plans to build a new recycling plant in Rotterdam, specifically aimed at the production of high-quality rPET.
Now, not quite a year later, the company has officially opened its new facility in an existing warehouse in the Merwe-Vierhavens in Rotterdam. Here, the entire process, from sortation, washing and shredding into flakes through granulation can take place.
Umincorp already operates a facility in Amsterdam, PRA, that processes industrial and household plastic waste into high-grade recyclate, achieving high levels of purity thanks to, among others, its proprietary and patented Magnetic Density Separation (MDS) process. MDS involves separating plastics in the waste stream using a magnetic fluid, and approach that the company says doubles the recovery rate compared to traditional sorting and recycling technologies, at lower cost and with higher accuracy.
The two facilities will collaborate, said Jaap Vandehoek, CEO and co-founder of Umincorp. “Being able to handle a number of process steps in our own factory, also makes us more flexible. For instance, we accept both material produced by our Amsterdam plant and material produced by other recyclers. We have the capability in house to transform the collected and mixed plastic waste into sorted recyclate that we can supply directly to packaging producers or brand owners. In this way, we strongly reduce the impact of plastic packaging on the environment. Compared to chemical recycling, the emissions are about 80 percent lower, while the difference with the production of new, virgin plastic is even greater,” he said.
The choice of location was determined by various factors, including energy supply. Vandehoek shared that the new facility runs entirely on wind energy. “This fits perfectly with our philosophy of choosing to reuse an existing building instead of opting for new construction.”
The company has ambitious plans for the future. “We are looking at the possibility of building another plant like the one we operate in Amsterdam here in the Rotterdam area,” said Vandehoek. However, he envisions a plant that is twice the size of the Amsterdam facility and able to process a wider range of plastics. “This would enable us to process an even larger volume of plastic waste into new consumer products - in an environmentally friendly way,” he concluded.