For decades, China was the largest importer of waste, but at the beginning of this year, it banned 24 types of scraps from entering the country.


UniSort Black allows plant operators now to also sort valuable black plastics for the first time

As reported by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) in the Global recycling markets - plastic waste: A story for one player – China report, the increase in global plastic production in the past 10 years alone equals “all of the plastics produced during the previous 30 years – from 1.5 million metric tonnes (Mt) in 1950 to 288Mt in 2012”.

As the world’s waste exporters continue to scramble for an alternative to China, in April, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) announced another ban of further 32 types of scrap materials including 16 scrap metal and chemical waste products.

The 16 banned products include steel smelting slag containing more than 25 per cent of the metal manganese, and ethylene polymer waste. The other 16 items that will be banned by the end of 2019 include timber waste and scrap metals such as stainless steel, tungsten and magnesium.

“In times when purity and rising recycling rates are the key to success, we are well positioned with both our process expertise and the necessary technology,” reports Peter Funke, CEO of STEINERT. “We offer operators of disposal facilities the full range of magnetic separation, non-ferrous metal separation and state-of-the-art near-infrared sorting systems.” Plant operators can now sort black plastics with the UniSort Black system. And the UniSort Film NIR efficiently separates 2D materials from the material flow. Both are issues that can make a real difference to recycling rates.

Recently, STEINERT unveiled its EddyC MOVE – a mobile non-ferrous metal separator, which separates ferrous and non-ferrous metal in one step. The range of applications includes wood waste, demolition waste, refuse-derived fuel, commercial and mixed construction waste.

STEINERT focuses on two factors with respect to metal recovery: purity and process flexibility. For example, the STEINERT KSS multi-sensor machine enables sorting facilities to separate metals homogeneously. It consists of a platform which deploys various sensors such as 3D, colour and induction recognition. The system can also be fitted with a fourth sensor (near-infrared, x-ray transmission or x-ray fluorescence sensor). The x-ray sorter ensures that heavy metals are separated from a lightweight metal fraction.

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