The African continent has been witnessing an increased number of exciting recycling projects, even in countries you would perhaps least expect. Like the Democratic Republic of the Congo which predominantly makes headlines about armed conflict. DRC now has a good news story to share with the opening of a modern plastics recycling facility.
Polymer washing and recycling plant supplier Sorema and sorting tech expert Starlinger have set up a processing plant for post-consumer PET bottles at the turnkey OK Plast factory, based in the capital Kinshasa. Sorema has made the sorting, grinding and washing stages while Starlinger has provided the pelletising line for bottle-grade rPET pellets.
OK Plast handles some 50 tonnes of plastics waste from Kinshasa, which has a population of 17 million and is the biggest city in Africa. The plant has been successfully commissioned and is another step in the continued expansion of recycling in Africa, helping to tackle the plastic waste problem and providing job opportunities for local communities, says Sorema. The company has built similar recycling projects in Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt and Tunisia.
The Kinshasa faclity makes rPET flakes for food packaging applications. The facility can produce 1.1 tonnes per hour of washed rPET flakes from PET bottles, sourced through a series of collection points.
The bottle-to-bottle rPET washing line includes automatic feeding, prewashing and de-labelling, followed by wet grinding, hot washing, flotation and ultimately the rinsing and drying stages. The line incorporates, on two sorting stages, colour and material detectors for both bottles and flakes. Finally, a digital monitoring system enables both local and remote control of the complete process.
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