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Smart tech ramps up PET recycling in Mexico

Major investments in advanced sorting technology may well mark the beginning of a new era for plastics recycling in Mexico.

Tech provider Tomra has recently installed a state-of-the-art sorting line at Indorama Ventures EcoMex. The line can process up to 30 000 tonnes of PET flakes per year. The installation follows a first line installed by Tomra earlier and total production capacity is now currently 42 000 tonnes.

Global chemicals producer Indorama Ventures has been active in recycling since 2011. In 2014 it acquired a PET recycling plant near the city of Guadalajara which allows the company to pursue its strategy of expanding its activities in Central America.

Tomra’s sensor-based sorting machines help Indorama separate the incoming material by colour and type. As a first step, two Autosort units pre-sort PET bottles from landfills and collection centres, sourced largely from central and western Mexico.

Pre-sorted materials are then washed and shredded before the respective PET flakes are further sorted and purified by two Autosort Flake units. The flakes produced are further recycled and made available to plastics converters as food-grade PET resin.

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