Estonian company Rexest Grupp has launched the Baltic state’s first plant for recycling mixed plastics packaging waste together to create a range of new plastic products
The new 2,400 tpa plant, located in Vддtsa close to Paide in central Estonia, uses Rexest proprietary technology allowing it to process together lower grade packaging waste like yoghurt pot tops, plastic bags and ketchup bottles. The recycling facility, which makes profiles for durable products ranging from garden furniture to pallets and construction materials, is a joint venture between Rexest of nearby Mдo and local municipal waste disposal firm Vддtsa Prьgila. Profiles and products made from the material are sold under the Rexest trade name of ‘PlastRex’. The company manufactures building materials in a separate industrial unit in Mдo. Initially, the recycling plant will gather plastics waste from central Estonia, but if the project is successful, Rexest plans to expand the operation to a capacity of 10,000 tpa, according to Aarne Saarevдli, the group’s chairman. Elsewhere in Estonia, mixed packaging waste is not recycled but sent to the landfill sites or incinerated. Some of the country’s 20,000 tpa of plastics waste are exported for recycling. Companies have been reluctant to take on mixed waste recycling because of the need to sort different plastics for separate processes. Rexest, a company launched with national capital in 2009, is one of several in Estonia with projects aimed at recycling. In December last year, the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre gave the go ahead to seven different recycling schemes backed by €5.8m provided by the European Cohesion Fund. Other projects planning to recycle plastics that were given approval includes one from building materials distributor Bestor Grupp of Tallinn, which intends to launch a 2,400tpa recycling unit to make construction products. The third plastics waste scheme came from Estonian waste management firm Nelitaht, which aims to boost the sorting of soiled plastics packaging through the use of infra-red technology. This should speed the process improving both volume and quality of usable waste.