On Tuesday, waste processing company Renewi officially inaugurated its new plastics sorting line in the port of Ghent (Belgium). A 20-million-euros investment to increase European recycling rates and accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Present at the inauguration were, among others, Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) and Ghent Mayor Mathias De Clercq.
A new wind turbine supplies a large part of the energy demand on the site. With 242 meters, it’s the highest turbine on the Belgian mainland. Thanks to its dimensions, the wind energy potential of the site is optimally used. The new sorting line processes approximately 125 000 tons of industrial waste annually, of which more than half (56%) is reused as raw material for new applications.
The new installation is one of the most advanced in the world and uses artificial intelligence to ‘recognize’ and separate the types of waste. “We used to be able to sort seven types of waste; today, the installation can distinguish 24 categories,” explains Mark Thys, CEO of Renewi.
Plastic has changed the world. It’s a functional, versatile, and aesthetically pleasing material. It has contributed to improving living standards and hygiene. But, unfortunately, it often gets lost: it is burnt or floats around as waste.
But plastic is too valuable to be considered waste. Instead, Renewi focuses on advanced operational solutions that lead to high-quality, stable end products to be reused in new, recycled plastic applications.
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