Nowadays in Europe, only 42% of plastic packaging is recycled. From the total of plastic packaging currently produced, 17% is multi-layer material which is difficult to recycle. On one hand, in sorting plants, current technologies can only identify their superficial layer. On the other hand, once it has been sorted and classified, its recyclability relies on expensive and complex methods to delaminate the layers. As a result, multi-layer packaging waste is being currently landfilled or incinerated.

Through PreZero’s participation at MERLIN project, the company seeks to demonstrate new solutions that allow to identify and pick multi-layer packaging waste that contribute to increase the quality and rate of sorted plastic packaging waste at its waste treatment facilities.

In this sense, as a waste manager, PreZero’s role at MERLIN is focused on the integration and demonstration of the new developed solutions by IRIS and ROVIMATICA to identify and sort both rigid and flexible multi-layer packaging waste. Since the beginning of the project PreZero has been working in the characterization and quantification of multi-layer waste throughout the sorting process, as well as supporting IRIS and ROVIMATICA in defining the specifications of the monitoring and robotic systems. Once they have been tested in their respective facilities, they are integrated and validated in one of PreZero’s sorting plant.

About PreZero

As an international provider of environmental services, PreZero participates actively in the transition towards a circular economy by offering innovative solutions for the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste. PreZero is the environmental division of the Schwarz group, which also include the trading companies of Kaufland and Lidl, as well as Schwarz Produktion.

The company is currently present in eleven countries: Germany, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, the United States, Spain and Portugal.

In Spain and Portugal, with a total of 17.000 employees, PreZero offers urban solutions to more than 15 million citizens in 600 municipalities. In the field of waste management and treatment, PreZero Iberia is a reference company. It operates 140 waste treatment and recycling facilities where more than 5.6 million tons of waste per year are processed through different kind of treatments, as selection and sorting, anaerobic digestion and composting, biomethanization, transfer, incineration, gasification and landfills.

PreZero is committed to a comprehensive waste management model. In this sense, the company iscurrently immersed in the process of evolving towards the digitalization of its processes and services through investments in technology and innovation. PreZero is pioneer in having an innovation area with more than 20 years of experience, specifically dedicated to the development of innovative solutions that accompany the company in its transformation towards a circular waste management model.