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Sorting materials and removing contaminants in the plastics recycling industry

Addressing climate change and establishing a circular economy are some of the top priorities of our time. These projects present manufactures, processors, and recyclers of plastics with a variety of challenges, but also offer numerous opportunities. The global approach to plastic must be rethought –  from legislation, to the development of new packaging materials, to innovative recycling technologies and use concepts.

Recycling saves energy, and used plastics are often cheaper than virgin material. Furthermore, each ton of recycled plastic used in place of comparable virgin material saves between 1.45 and 3.22 tons of greenhouse gases. However, recycling used plastics is only a profitable venture if the material has previously been separated into homogeneous fractions by color and type in order to live up to high quality standards. Our sorting systems are there to handle the job – sorting PET, HDPE, PE, and PVC with precision, reliability and efficiency.

Sesotec is one of the leading specialists for industrial plastics-sorting machines and systems. Our systems reliably differentiate materials using various types of sensor technology and efficiently separate material flows into homogeneous fractions by colour and type.

Material analysis systems from Sesotec are used in quality laboratories to inspect outgoing goods. Previously, material analysis had to be carried out in a time-consuming, manual process. In just a few minutes, Sesotec analysis systems generate consistently high-quality and reproducible reports on the composition of plastic types and color errors.

Circular Economy – It must turn a profit

Recycling converts used plastic products into recyclate. This recyclate can be processed in place of virgin material to create new plastic products, which themselves can be recycled again after use. Foreign object detectors and material analysis systems from Sesotec help make this cycle more efficient and profitable.

Sesotec's strengths
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over 40 years of experience and reliability

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Personal support in the after-sales area

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Long-term reliability for spare part supply

Click here to also discover our systems for plastics processing and compounding


Why is plastic recycled?

Plastic is produced mainly from petroleum, which is a finite resource. Plastics that are not recycled end up in landfills or in nature, where they serve as long-term sources of pollution, since they do not decompose or do so only very slowly. It is therefore necessary to recycle plastic waste in an eco-friendly way or to recover thermal energy at least through incineration.

Recycling helps businesses that process plastics become more independent from fossil feedstock and cushion rising costs of raw materials. Recycled plastics can serve as an equal substitute for new, crude-oil-based materials in many applications. In addition, they can be recycled in many ways. For example, PET bottles can be turned into PET bottles (bottle-to-bottle principle) or textile fibres, polystyrene can be turned into pens, and CDs can transform into computer casing.


What are the challenges?

Plastics collected for recycling must have a high degree of purity. Only then can they be economically recycled and introduced as high-quality materials back into the production cycle. However, sorting certain plastics can place complex demands on the sorting system. Our separation and sorting systems remove contaminants, such as metals, wood or extraneous plastics, from the material and separate mixed material flows into homogeneous fractions by colour and type. To ensure safe detection, the systems are equipped with near-infrared sensors and high-resolution CCD cameras, for example.

Sesotec also offers complete small-scale plants for plastic flake sorting with screening, air classification, optical sorting and material handling

What are the advantages of our systems?

Sesotec has been one of the market leaders in the field of contaminant removal and sorting technology for more than 40 years. We develop standard solutions as well as complete custom solutions for plastics-recycling companies in particular and cover the entire range of contaminant removal and sorting. This extends from a sorting system designed to handle larger objects, such as PET bottles, to the intricate sorting of plastic regrind and PET flakes.

Our sorting systems work with precision, speed and efficiency. Better material quality, greater throughput levels and less loss of material increase added value. As a result, the purchase of equipment amortises rapidly. The machines can also reliably handle complex sorting tasks. They are used to pre-sort materials, perform quality checks, as well as sort or separate the following:
  • Colours
  • Metals
  • Plastics, such as PET, HDPE, PVS and many more
  • Contaminants, such as wood, paper and bioplastics

All Sesotec systems have a modular design. Depending on the application, the components that are necessary for a specific sorting task can be combined in one machine.


What products or materials are sorted?

Sesotec systems sort plastic bottles and cups, as well as plastic regrind or “flakes” − plastic pieces that are created during the process of recycling PET bottles. A granulator shreds the bottles at the recycling plant. After this step, the sorting system separates the pieces by colour and removes contaminants. This results in homogeneous granulate based on colour and type, which can be turned into new, high-quality products. Recycling rates of up to 100 per cent are possible with the use of Sesotec systems for recycling plastic.


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Content type
ebook circular economy 2021 preview

White Paper

The circular economy: Challenges and opportunities for Recyclers and plastics processors

The plastics industry is under pressure. Between climate change, excessive consumption of finite resources, and vast amounts of plastic waste in the world’s oceans, plastics are coming to be seen in a different light by politicians, businesses, and consumers alike. Read in our e-book about the most important factors of a functioning circular economy, especially which challenges and opportunities exist for recyclers and plastics processors.

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White Paper

The circular economy: Part 2 - Important components for a plastics circular economy

Which building blocks are necessary for a closed-loop plastic circular economy and which important parameters there are to close the loop, we will go into in the second part of the "Circular Economy" article series.

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Green Mind relies on Sesotec sorting systems for PET Flakes in highest quality
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Sesotec sorting technology replaces manual sorting of PET flakes
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Reliable sesotec sorting systems convince RecyPET
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MB-Sort – Recycling of metal waste and plastics with Sesotec VARISORT COMPACT sorting system
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Sesotec sorting systems secure supply of recycled PET material
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High-quality PET recyclate for the plastics processing industry

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Reiling Plastic Recycling will do whatever it takes to produce the purest flakes

Reiling is prepared to fulfill this need, offering an entire range of services from collection (full service or DIY), to processing (converting bottles to flakes), to creating carefully controlled end products. For those who will eventually buy the flakes, color and material purity are of central importance, as high-quality starting materials are needed to manufacture new products.

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Case Studies

RE-Glass helps Hungary‘s glass recycling industry get fit for the future

Foreign materials posed the biggest challenge to the new plant. Contaminants such as ceramics, stones, porcelain (CSP), metals, paper, and plastics comprise as much as 15 to 20% of the total weight of all collected glass waste. To overcome this challenge, KRS supplied a sorting system that meets these requirements.


Case Studies

Futurapet: Sesotec is our partner in material sorting and analysis

In a plant equipped with stateof-the-art (sorting) technology, Futurapet recycles plastic waste. The secondary raw materials obtained are returned to the plastics processing industry. When Futurapet was founded, General Manager Oğuz Engin and his t eam were looking for innovative solutions that efficiently deliver high-quality end products.

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Industry Brochures

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Product Brochures


Metall-Separator für pneumatische Förderleitungen

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Splitable metal detector for installation on conveyor belts and material chutes


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Multi-Sensor Sorting System for the Plastics Recycling Industry

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Multi-Sensorsortiersysteme für die Recycling-Industrie

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flake scan

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Analyzing system for the plastics industry


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Flexible sorting system for plastic bottles and trays

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VISUDESK, the new visualisation software for sorting machines, makes your sorting processes transparent and enables direct control for higher efficiency and higher profitability.

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