DGrade opens its first sorting facility in Abu Dhabi

Under the name “DGrade Recycling Factory Launch: Supporting a Closed-loop for Plastic Bottles”, DGrade, UAB, has held an opening ceremony on March 23 to celebrate the establishment of its PET bottle and flake sorting plant that features Tomra’s plastic sorting systems.

The new plant started operating on March 20 and targets to process 3 t/h of PET with the latest equipment including one Autosort unit for pre-sorting and one Autosort Flake for subsequent flake purification. The high-purity flakes are then processed by DGrade and turned into the company’s Greenspun yarn for sustainable clothing or sold to local converters who use the recycled content to produce new packaging.

The plant utilises the new generation Autosort to pre-sort PET bottles originating from surrounding communities. Thanks to the combination of the most advanced technologies, including its Flying Beam illumination unit, the machine removes contamination and separates PET bottles by colour. The sorted fractions are shredded into flakes and undergo additional purification and colour sorting with Autosort Flake. The high-precision flake sorter is claimed to detect even small contaminants and separates other polymers such as polyolefins coming from the bottle lids. In combination, the sorting systems can process a billion PET bottles into high-purity flakes, closing the loop on PET.

The establishment of the new plant benefits the environment, but also society and businesses as well. Local packaging converters now have direct access to feedstocks and are no longer dependent on high-priced virgin materials or market availability. Furthermore, the amount of recycled content in packaging can be increased, making it easier to meet recycled content targets. DGrade for its part uses rPET to produce its Greenspun yarn for the production of sustainable clothing that also reduces dependency on primary resources.

Being the only plant in the region to produce high-purity rPET flakes, DGrade is expected to play a crucial role in the promotion of a circular economy in plastic packaging and more sustainable production of textiles, supported by Tomra’s sorting machines and consultancy.

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