SOREMA installs PET bottle recycling plant in DRC expanding recycling in the region

DRC – SOREMA, a global benchmark for polymer washing and recycling plants, in collaboration with Austrian company Starlinger has installed a new recycling plant for post-consumer PET bottles in the Democratic Republic of Congo at OK Plast factory.

The new line is a boost to OK Plast, which recycles about 50 tonnes of plastic waste per day from the city of Kinshasa.

The plant has been successfully commissioned and is another step in the continued expansion of recycling in Africa, helping to solve the plastic waste problem and providing new job opportunities for local communities, notes SOREMA.

Prior to this latest installation in Africa, SOREMA had already built and started washing and recycling plants in Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt and Tunisia.

This turnkey plant was built for OK Plast with the aim of producing rPET flakes for food packaging applications.

It achieves a useful production of 1,100kg/h of washed rPET flakes starting from PET bottles, which OK Plast receives through a series of collection points installed in different corners of the city of Kinshasa.

This production unit built by SOREMA, contributes to the development in Africa of the circular economy through the Upcycling of rPET, as it is reintegrated in increasing percentages in the production of preforms, bottles and containers for food use.

The Bottle-to-Bottle rPET washing line includes several stages: automatic feeding, prewashing, and de-labeling, followed by wet grinding, hot washing, flotation and finally rinsing and drying stages.

The line incorporates, on two sorting stages, color and material detectors for both bottles and flakes. Finally, the Sorema-Scada 4.0 digital monitoring system enables efficient local and remote control of the entire line.

The latest development in SOREMA’s PET washing plants is the upgrade of the bottle prewash system. This module washes bottles after dry-presorting, removing shrink and no-shrink labels.

Key to SOREMA’s success in recycling plants is its continued ability to monitor the evolution of plastic packaging waste and adapt its technology offerings accordingly.

Similarly, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a startup, FDA Group has been transforming bottles and other city waste into cheap, hard-wearing paving slabs that grace driveways and forecourts across the Bukavu for more than 7 years.

The startup founded by Elie Mapenzi Matabaro collects plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in river Rizizi clogging hydropower turbines installed in the river.

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