A plastic film recycling plant supplied by Germany-based Herbold Meckesheim has been installed in Germiston South, near Johannesburg, in South Africa. It is being billed by Herbold “the first large-scale plant for the recycling of heavily contaminated PE [polyethylene] film waste” in that nation.
The plant can process up to 8,000 tons per year of film, used big bags and similar plastic scrap. The film scrap arrives in pre-sorted bales, which are then shredded and have contaminants removed by a pre-washing unit and an initial washing stage.
In the next stage, more contaminants are dissolved in a wet granulator that create intense friction. A subsequent friction washer separates the dirty water from the end product.
A hydro cyclone separates heavy contaminants and non-PE plastics from the desired fraction. “This separation process has a particularly high separation effect and ensures the high quality of the produced film flakes,” states Herbold.
In two drying steps, involving a centrifugal dryer and hot air dryer, the product reaches a residual humidity level deemed suitable for further material processing into pellets in a downstream extruder. The pellets are then ready to be converted into “high-quality film,” the company indicates.