Sweden sets new standards in plastics recycling!

With the record sum of one billion SEK, Swedish Plastic Recycling (Svensk Plaståtervinning) is investing in the world's largest and most modern plastics recycling plant- Site Zero!  Here, from 2023, all plastic packaging from Swedish households will be recycled and: "polypropylene films" will be implemented as a separate sorting route! With this, Sweden secures the recycling infrastructure for flexible PP packaging and closes the loop.

Congratulations on this step, which should be groundbreaking for Germany!

The existing plant in Motala, which is already one of the most efficient in Europe, is now being expanded with next-generation technology. “- We are doubling our capacity and will be able to handle 200,000 tonnes of plastic packaging per year. This creates the conditions needed for receiving and eventually recycle all plastic packaging from Swedish households”, says Mattias Philipsson, CEO of Swedish Plastic Recycling. Thanks to cutting-edge technology it will be possible to recycle practically all types of plastic. Today the facility can manage four types of plastic – in the future Site Zero will make it possible to sort and recycle twelve different types. Any small parts of plastic that remain after the sorting process are separated to be sent to chemical recycling,  to become new composite products or to be sent to energy recovery without climate emissions, so-called CCS (Carbon Capture Storage). At Site Zero, zero packaging goes to incineration. “- There is today no other facility in the world that has that capability. We are also preparing for washing and granulation of the plastic in phase two, which is planned for 2025. Then our entire plastic flow in Sweden can become circular”, explains Mattias Philipsson.

Site Zero will be completely climate neutral with zero emissions. The facility is powered by renewable energy. There are also plans to produce renewable energy by covering the building’s large flat roof with solar panels.

This is Site Zero:

Location: Motala Business Park (owned by Swedish Plastic Recycling)

Site Zero Area: Approx. 60,000 sqm

Receiving capacity: 200,000 tonnes of plastic packaging per year.

Site Zero will be able to receive all plastic packaging from Swedish households

Sorting capacity: PP, HDPE, LDPE, PET tray, PET bottles (coloured and transparent), PP film, EPS, PS, PVC, two grades of Polyolefin mix, metal and non-plastic waste

Agglomeration output: Chemical recycling, composite products, energy recovery with CCS

Other: Fully automated process, 60 Near Infra Red (NIR) sensors, approx. 5 km conveyor belt, washing and granulation in phase two

Number of employees: 150-200 employees by year 2023 (today Swedish Plastic Recycling has about 80 employees and the investment in Site Zero means about a hundred new employees)

Total investment: Approximately SEK 1 billion (year 2019–2023)

Svensk Plaståtervinning, offers a nationwide system for collecting and recycling of plastic packaging in Sweden to companies who have an extended producer responsibility. The sorting facility in Motala has the capability to manage all plastic packaging from Swedish households. Svensk Plaståtervinning is owned by a large part of the Swedish business community, through the organizations Plastbranschens Informationsråd, Dagligleverantörernas Förbund, Svensk Handel and Svensk Dagligvaruhandel. Svensk Plaståtervinning owns FTI (Förpacknings- och tidningsinsamlingen) together with four other material companies: Svenska Metallkretsen, Pressretur, Returkartong and Svensk Glasåtervinning.

Über den Autor


Maag-Geschäftsführer Ansgar Schonlau ist Diplom-Wirtschaftsingenieur und hat langjährige Erfahrung in der Druck- und Verpackungsindustrie mit dem Schwerpunkt auf Flexible Verpackungen.  Er ist engagierter Verfechter der Supply-Chain-Optimierung zur Vermeidung aller Arten von Verschwendung, hat in seinem Unternehmen schon früh Lean Management eingeführt und setzt sich für die Kreislaufwirtschaft von Folienverpackungen ein.