Vaersa, a public enterprise, opened its new light packaging sorting plant in Alzira, Spain, on Wednesday (3 July).

The opening of the new plant follows Vaersa’s decision in 2023 to invest in the upgrade and expansion of the Alzira facility to manage increasing volumes of light packaging waste and to enhance the quality of its recyclable output.  

The inauguration of the new Vaersa light packaging plant was attended by local government representatives with environmental responsibilities. 

The plant, which is said to be one of the largest in Spain by capacity, is seen as a significant step towards advancing the domestic circular economy, increasing the facility’s capacity from three to eight tonnes per hour. 

The tender for the project called for a design that maximised recovery, facilitated operation, and ensured modularity and flexibility of the processing line. 

The new plant was designed by STADLER to automate the site’s sorting process.  

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It features two sorting cabins, two STADLER STT2000 ballistic separators, magnetic and eddy current separators, and optical sorters.  

These components work together to sort materials into polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density PET, film, plastic mixes, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals. 

At the conclusion of the sorting process, the recovered materials are baled and sent for recycling.  

STADLER faced the challenge of installing the new plant in the same building as the old one, which presented significant space limitations.  

STADLER Spain operations manager Ismael Avilés Ortega said: “One of the main challenges was that we were replacing an existing plant. This required a meticulously studied design to fit within the existing building, making the preparatory work of our engineers crucial.”