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CSR Plastic produces high-quality rLDPE with TOMRA Technologies

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CSR Plastic carries its sorting processes to superior performance with TOMRA technologies in its new facility, which it invested in to produce high-quality granules from post-consumer LDPE waste. CSR, which produces primarily semitransparent, honey foam and black LDPE granules, from post consumer low-density polyethylene waste (LDPE) in Türkiye, is among the few facilities in Europe with its high-quality products offered at high volume. 4 unit TOMRA AUTOSORTTM optical sorting machines were installed in CSR’s facility to maximize quality by sorting both material and color.

CSR Plastic stepped into the recycling industry with its first facility established in Arifiye, Sakarya in 2020. In this facility, which had manual sorting, crushing and washing granule production lines, CSR Plastic recognized the high potential of automating these processes. To this end, CSR Plastic purchased a new facility in Akyazı, Sakarya, in 2022 and equipped it with the latest technologies. The investment amounted to approx. 40 million Euros. Sabri Cem Bingöl, Marketing and Supply Chain Manager of CSR Plastic, shared information about their new investments; “Turkey is a candidate country to become a recycling hub in the near future. We see this in numerous investments made in waste management and recylcing. CSR Plastic is one of these investments. The LDPE recycling is a very complex and demanding process and oftentimes an obstacle to bring cirucarlity to LDPE. Although LDPE, a low-density polyethylene material, is the most demanded plastic-type in the world but its recycling was limited and only possible when extracted from industrial waste. Until ten years ago, post-consumer LDPE materials were materials that took up a lot of space in landfill and were generally seen as polluting materials therefore incinerated. Today, the necessity of circular economy has changed this situation. On the other hand, post-consumer LDPE is one of the most difficult materials to recycle in terms of material input and processes. When it comes to rigid plastic, the processes are easier, but LDPE recycling gets harder. Your customers demand different granule products for different applications. Although the input materials differ, they are very light but bulky. When we mention the high-quality recovery of post-consumer LDPE materials, its history in Turkey does not go beyond five years, and there are only a few examples in the world. Especially the examples with automated sorting processes are much fewer. In this sense, we believe that we have taken an important step in the sector with our machine line, which we have developed together with TOMRA and designed diversely from the other examples.”

 

CSR Plastic’s facility has a total area of 30 thousand m2, including 12.500 m2 indoor area. There is another 6 thousand m2 of closable area that can be used strategies once the business grows further, and it is planned to use this area for different plastic types such as PET suitable for food soon. In the new facility, 4 TOMRA AUTOSORTTM machines are used to remove the unwanted fractions from the input waste and create a clean fraction of LDPE, sorted by material type and color. AUTOSORTTM, the world’s most powerful multifunctional sorting system, enables higher productivity and exceptional purity levels in a variety of polymers and colors. It increases the profitability of the facilities by recovering high-value materials from all types of waste streams.

The new facility of CSR Plastic, which started its operations about 6 months ago, processes 2.4 tons/hour of granule. In the first investment phase, two sorting lines were built. The next investment will include the installation of the third washing line that will contribute to meeting the goal of producing 3.6 tons of granules per hour.

, CSR Plastic offers 70 percent of its products to the domestic market and exports 30 percent. In the near future, they aim to trade 50% on the domestic market and export 50%.. Half of the material is supplied from the domestic market and half from the foreign market, as required by the regulations. Sabri Cem Bingöl mentioned; “The best quality transparent granule can be obtained from industrial waste. The best quality product that can be obtained from the post-consumption material is the semitransparent granule. Both semitransparent and honey foam granules are the products we are very firm about. We can provide high quality granules in three different colors, which are produced in our lines where we sort with TOMRA optical machines. Nonetheless, we could not reach these points in terms of both capacity and quality without the contribution of TOMRA optical sorters.”

TOMRA’s ownership of our project and strong local presence determined our machine line

Sabri Cem Bingöl, in his statement informed; “We paid great attention to our machine selections in our new facility investment. In fact, while evaluating, we also met with different sorting technology providers, and we also conducted different tests. What impressed us the most was TOMRA’s transfer of experience, even though polyethylene film is a hard-to-recycle material. They could only have taken the approach of a machine supplier, but TOMRA supported our project and allowed us to improve our system to ensure the minimum margin of error in the process. The TOMRA team is well-informed, inquisitive, and successful in their predictions. The second most important factor is that TOMRA is a very active company locally in recycling. They have a strong local presence both in sales and after sales. If our machine stops for one hour, we cannot obtain 3.6 tons of granules. For this reason, we chose TOMRA as our supplier partner, believing that it can be the fastest and most reliable solution partner for us.”

in CSR plastic produces high quality products that meet the requirements of the industry and allows for closing the loop on different materials.. In other words, the input product is kept in full cycle and presented as a raw material for the same purpose as the output product, whatever its previous usage area. CSR Plastic’s products are offered to different sectors, especially packaging, agriculture and construction. Cem Bingöl stated that the packaging industry covers the majority of their production in distribution; “A large part of our products are offered to packaging producers who require high volumes and qualities alike. However, we would like to draw attention to brand responsibility here. Very heavily printed input materials complicate our recycling process. Brands prefer multi-colored and very large printed packaging, but in order to increase recycling in the circular economy chain, it is important for brands to be sensitive about this issue and to plan their designs in accordance with design for recycling standards. Although we sort with the most advanced technologies, the responsibility of the producer is also important in order to increase recycling rates.

TOMRA’s know-how and CSR Plastic’s experience combined in the LDPE recycling line

Basically, the shredder makes the materials smaller than 300 mm and separates the adherent material from each other, allowing the processing to be carried out in a later stage, and the shredded material is conveyed to the ballistic separator by a dosing conveyor. The ballistic separator removes dust and soil and ensures the distribution of the material for the next stage. Homogeneous material distribution on the belt is of great importance for proper sorting. From the material fed from the ballistic separator to the optical separator, non-LDPE material is removed by the first TOMRA AUTOSORTTM machine to obtain a clean natural LDPE fraction. Meanwhile, the color separation of honey foam and colored LDPE coming from the 1st line is made with two AUTOSORTTM machines on the 2nd line and honey foam LDPEs are obtained as the final material. Colored LDPE fractions recovered by AUTOSORT™ will be turned into black granules in the subsequent extrusion process.

AUTOSORTTM with TOMRA’s patented FLYING BEAM® technology offers higher product efficiency with maximum uptime in the industry and lowers operating costs while protecting natural resources by providing lower energy consumption. On the other hand, SHARP EYE™ technology provides higher sorting performance and sets a unique quality standard.

AUTOSORTTM‘s easy-to-use touch screen (ACT) based on near-infrared technology allows facilities to easily select from a variety of sorting programs to suit their operational needs. The advanced technology allows materials to be filtered separately through various parameters, ensuring efficient sorting and high productivity across an exceptionally wide range of applications.

 

Serkan Orhan, TOMRA Recycling Sorting Türkiye and Middle East Sales Manager; “With the high degree of purity, ideal recovery rate and high standard product quality that AUTOSORTTM offers, we increase the profitability of the facilities. We also offer benefits to facilities thanks to low operating and service costs. AUTOSORTTM can be easily integrated into all sorting plants with its flexible, multi-purpose and modular system. Our innovative technology offers systems that can detect even the smallest impurities. Therefore, it is a very powerful solution in many sorting areas including PET and plastic, domestic solid waste and packaging waste.”

 

Serkan Orhan; “Separating the film material is very difficult to achieve both high yield and high purity. Due to its lightweight nature, the film can move easily on the separation belt, resulting in a reduction in efficient separation. We are very pleased with the results we achieved with CSR Plastic in such a challenging sorting task. We set out together on a project we are proud of and we succeeded. CSR was unfamiliar with automatic sorting, so we took part in a project where we would also improve ourselves in post-consumer LDPE recycling. There are LDPE plants in Europe where our machines are located, but they are similar to each other. We have developed a new operation by combining our experience in these facilities with the field experience of CSR. We visited facilities together in Europe. CSR even tested their own materials at a facility where our machine is located. We developed a new concept. The hardest part of automating LDPE is increasing your outage. With this project, we both increased the capacity and efficiency by automating and also reduced the outage a lot. It is an important facility that can set an example in Europe.”

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