High 5, a company in Belgium, has created a way to sort different color glass using automation technology. It’s the first plant in the world sorting incoming flows in order to separate the four colors needed to make bottles and other hollow glass packaging materials, like pots and jars. Their goal is to increase the proportion of recycled glass in the glass-making industry’s production processes.
The High 5’s plant is an ultra-modern facility pioneering glass recycling in Europe. This sorting center is an illustration of the recovery of waste to produce secondary raw materials, one of the primary principles in the circular economy.
The first to automatically separate the four colors of glass
The conventional steps of glass sorting consist of extracting the unwanted content, so that the glass can be separated from other waste and then processed. High 5 has revolutionized the final processing of glass with a technological innovation that passes the colored raw glass through a latest-generation optical sorting bank. The flow of glass is sorted into four colors: clear, green, amber and russet. Not only does this technology automatically detect and separate the four colors, but it is also capable of purifying and extracting residues, such as crystal, porcelain or vitro ceramics, which prevent glass from being reused as a raw material.
Increase the proportion of recycled glass in the production processes
The unique quality of the recycled glass produced by High 5 enables the plant’s glass-making customers to significantly increase the proportion of recycled glass in their production processes. This enables them to save natural mineral resources, energy but also to limit greenhouse gas emissions. High 5 Recycling Group, built with SUEZ and its partner SIBELCO GREEN SOLUTIONS, the world’s leading supplier of minerals to the glass-making industry, can produce 250,000 tons or recycled glass per year.
With Plast'lab®, SUEZ wants to work with manufacturers to build "tailored" solutions in order to supply the recycled plastic that meets their needs.
Creating "tailored" recycled plastics
Recycled plastic creates an economic advantage for manufacturers enabling them to improve their energy efficiency and environmental performance. However, as a secondary raw material it must meet precise specifications. So we’ve created the unique Plast’lab® laboratory. Plast’lab® analyses, characterizes and tests the recycled plastics materials in order to formulate new ranges of quality plastics. The goal is to meet the needs of manufacturers (resistance to impacts, heat, etc.) and to anticipate the needs of the future.
It’s a major economic and environmental issue
In the last 50 years, the use of plastic has increased twenty-fold and certain consumer products contain more than 20 different plastic resins. Using recycled plastics cuts energy consumption by 80% to 90% compared to the production of virgin plastic. Taking action to increase the quantity and improve the quality of recycled plastic is a major goal for us.