Eagerly-awaited good news from Subcarpathia

After heaps of pollution and flood, Subcarpathia has at last announced long anticipated news: a plastic processing plant opened in Uzhhorod with the goal of processing plastic bottles and widely increasing their selective collection.

On 26th August 2020, the first plastic recycling line of the region was inaugurated in Uzhhorod. This is the first and only company in Subcarpathia that can process plastic polymers; in other words, it produces reusable secondary raw materials from selectively collected municipal waste (mainly plastic bottles). During the procedure bottles are brought through a processing line that separates the PET plastic from the polypropylene labels and the polyethylene caps, and then thoroughly washes it to remove dirt.

After grinding and flaking, the bottles go through 4 session of washing, which are the following, in this order:

  1. Residues of other polymers are separated from the PET plastic in sink-float pools, and the chips/flakes are washed.
  2. The PET flakes then enter the Turbo Washer, where the flakes are separated from each other and washed again to achieve greater purity of the material.
  3. The flakes are put in the so-called “Hot Water Washer”, where the temperature of the water is around 90°C (194°F). The hot water removes impurities, glue and fats.
  4. The flakes then are loaded in the next bath, where they are washed with cold water, and other possible polymer residues are removed.

After the washing sessions, the fraction is moved to another processing line, where the PET plastic is granulated to even smaller pieces, which are then loaded into driers. The flakes go through 3 high-temperature drying sessions, and then are collected in separate fractions. This is the end result of the processing: a widely usable secondary raw material.

The recycling line is capable of processing approx. 100 tonnes of plastic bottles and its maximum capacity is 400 tonnes per month. It means that the facility is able to cover the recycling needs of the region with regards to PET plastic waste. This stop-gap investment ¬– if appropriately utilized – will have a chance to solve the plastic bottle contamination problem of the Subcarpathian, which is tackled by several Hungarian companies and NGOs, primarily the team of the Plastic Cup, which also supported the recycling line investment.

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