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Lightweight packaging:
high-tech sorting services

Interseroh is the leading provider of sorting services for lightweight packaging (LWP) and mixed recyclable materials in Europe. We offer a range of customer-specific solutions for handling materials from the German “dual system” and other European countries. All sorting work uses ultra-modern processes in our own high-tech facilities. 

Interseroh offers high-efficiency sorting of lightweight packaging and mixed recyclable materials for customers across Europe – including the German dual system and systems in other European countries. 

Innovation is our strategy: only high-performance sorting and maximum quality for the categories of waste sorted enables us to recover an increasing number of resource types from waste for resale on the market. One example is the specific category of “black plastics”, for which we have developed our own near-infrared system in-house. Today, we are the global technology leader in the sorting of LWP. 

Closed-loop recycling for plastics

We handle the entire recycling process for LWP within our company – from packaging licensing through to packaging sorting and reprocessing. One aspect of this recycling workflow is the production of recycled plastics in as-new material quality from our award-winning Recycled-Resource process. In all of our recycling work, we focus on market-driven production and our customers’ quality requirements at all times. 

Sorting facts and figures

We currently operate five of Germany’s largest sorting depots for lightweight packaging waste and mixed recyclables, and these are some of the most modern facilities in the country. At these facilities have a total sorting capacity of 810,000 tonnes a year.

Site locations

  • Walldürn (depotcapacity: 220,000 t/year) 
  • Berlin (depotcapacity: 140,000 t/year)
  • Braunschweig (depotcapacity: 140,000 t/year)
  • Marl (depotcapacity: 200,000 t/year)
  • Leipzig (depotcapacity: 110,000 t/year)

Key customers for our sorting services include:

  • Participants in the German dual system

  • Municipalities (yellow recycling bin)

  • Companies with operations nationwide

  • Companies with operations nationwide

  • International NGOs (non-governmental organisations) who offer packaging recycling

Trusting partners of Interseroh

Burger King
Sopor Bauchemie

Our expert for

Sorting services

Uwe Küber
Uwe Küber

Managing Director | ALBA Recycling GmbH

Bjoern Schwich
Björn Schwich

Plant Manager | ALBA Recycling GmbH

Contact us

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Frequent questions of our customers

  • Why is it important to sort lightweight packaging and other similar kinds of materials?

    Lightweight packaging, which is mostly provided by commercial waste management systems, is sorted by specialised sorting facilities into specific types of materials: plastics (PP, PE, PET, PS), metals (aluminium, tinplate), beverage cartons, paper/paperboard/cardboard (PPC), foils and “other”. Sorted plastics, metals, beverage cartons and PPC are recyclable resources and are returned to the plastics, steel and paper manufacturing industries. As a result, they stay in the materials loop and reduce the consumption of primary resources. The “other” materials are used as fuel materials in energy recovery. 

  • How does near-infrared (NIR) technology work?

    In a sorting facility, waste is separated step by step into specific types of material. In modern facilities, separation using near-infrared systems (NIR spectroscopy) is the primary method now used. With NIR, an infrared camera is used to measure the wavelength of reflected light. Since every material reflects specific wavelengths, this information can be analysed and used in waste separation. This method can be used to distinguish different plastics, for example, as well as identify beverage cartons or separate paper from paperboard. Items of material identified by this method are sorted out at the end of the conveyor belt by electronically controlled compressed-air nozzles.

  • Why is a magnet separator used?

    Magnet separation is a technique for separating materials containing iron. These materials are sorted out of a material flow being fed by a conveyor belt by magnets suspended above the belt or magnetic drums.

    In wood recycling facilities, magnet separators are also used to remove nails and other unwanted ferrous materials.

  • How does an eddy current separator work?

    An eddy current separator is used to separate non-ferrous but electrically conductive materials such as aluminium, copper or magnesium from a material flow. In an eddy current separator, these substances are ejected by means of a highly advanced electromagnetic process.

    This technique can be used to separate out aluminised foils, for example, or screw caps or bottle caps that contain specific kinds of metals.

  • Why do “black plastics” represent a major challenge for sorting facilities?

    The most important technology deployed for the separation of the various plastics are near-infrared systems. This technology is based on differences in the reflection of light from various plastics. Yet a black surface of any kind reflects hardly any light – which is the reason why black cars heat up more quickly than white cars when exposed to sunlight, for example. Black absorbs most of this light and reflects only a little. Accordingly, an NIR system will receive very little usable information from black-pigmented plastics. Over the last few years, ALBA has worked with a partner on the development of specialised technologies and processes to enable the effective sorting of these black plastics. Technologies for both colour detection and material detection are being used here. As an innovation leader, ALBA has now enabled the sorting of black plastics for the very first time, so that this material type can also be used to obtain high-quality recyclables.