30.03.2023 - Technology

CleanR has opened a modern new plastic recycling plant

The municipal waste management company CleanR has opened a modern new plastic recycling plant in Ķekava Municipality. The plant will recycle plastics that could not be recycled in Latvia until now, said the head of the plant, Kaspars Fogelmanis.

Now it will also be possible to recycle polystyrene in Latvia, which is found in yogurt containers, children’s toys, dishes, lighting fixtures and similar products. The plant can also recycle acrylonitrile butadiene styrene resin (ABS) and ABS compositions, that is, plastic that is widely used in the production of car parts and interior furnishings – panels, screens, window frames, mirror casings and many others. This plastic is also commonly used in the production of electronic device housings, as well as in the textile and construction industries.

Guntars Levics, a member of the board at CleanR Group, stated: “Now we can ensure a complete recycling cycle to give plastic a second life, from waste collection to a recycled product, granules and flakes that turn into things we see around us on a daily basis: electronic device housings, packaging, interior furnishings, even clothing and fashion accessories. This is how discarded resources can be given a second life, not just become waste,” says Levics.

The CleanR plastic recycling plant is able to produce up to 1,000 tonnes of granules and flakes per month, almost 100% of which is exported.

“This plant is a success story because this is how we introduce the basic principles of circular economy in Latvia to turn waste into a resource. It is also a contribution to the European Union’s Green Deal, which we are committed to as a country and society. We definitely need more such plants to achieve our environmental goals,” emphasised the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Māris Sprindžuks.

Ķekava Municipality Chairman Juris Žilko highlighted the importance of the new plant for the municipality. “Our philosophy is based on the belief that we borrow the earth from our children, not inherit it from our parents. Therefore it is our responsibility to take proper care of it. And if that does not motivate someone, then maybe the fact that sorting your waste means lower utility bills, and recycling waste even generates more revenue, will motivate you. For the municipality, the new plant means new jobs for residents and tax revenue in the municipal budget, which can be further invested in infrastructure development,” said Žilko.

He added that Ķekava Municipality was proud to be home to another sustainability-oriented business. “This is a strong signal to other companies that Ķekava is a municipality that cares for business and is focused on development and growth,” said Žilko.

“What sets the CleanR plastic recycling plant apart from other similar plants is the technology it uses. Its production lines are from the industry’s leading brands. The technological process involves washing the material to be recycled five times, followed by extrusion. As a result, the recycled material is exceptionally clean and can be used in the production of goods of the highest quality,” explained Fogelmanis.

It is also very important that technologies used in the construction and equipping the plant meet the strictest environmental and occupational safety standards.

Director General of the State Environmental Service, Elita Baklāne-Ansberga emphasised that the service had carried out thorough inspections before construction of the plant began, during its construction, as well as after the plant was put it into operation.

“We expect that the company in its daily operations will strictly comply with the requirements for the plant and the relevant technological procedures, recycling waste in the most environmentally friendly way,” said Baklāne-Ansberga.

CleanR Group has invested €5.4 million in the construction and equipment of the plastic recycling plant, of which €1.26 million is co-financing provided by the European Union’s Cohesion Fund, while 65% has been invested by the company. Construction of the plant commenced in 2022.

In January 2023, CleanR Group also opened a separately collected waste sorting centre. This is where plastic waste is taken to and sorted before it goes to the plant for recycling.

The CleanR plastic processing plant specialises in recycling LDPE, HDPE and PP or food, agricultural, construction material packaging, as well as processing waste from road transport. These include various bags, fruit boxes, big bags, packaging for hygiene and household chemicals, drums and vehicle plastic parts.

Source: Press release. Photo: Flickr.

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