Prezero seeks external sorting facilities to mitigate Zwolle fire impact

Author: Mark Victory


LONDON (ICIS)--Prezero Netherlands is seeking external sorting companies to sort its plastic waste following a fire at its Zwolle post-consumer waste sorting centre in the Netherlands on Wednesday 16 May, a company spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

The Zwolle plant will need to be demolished and rebuilt, the spokesperson confirmed, and it is not yet known when it will be fully operational.

Prezero continues to receive daily supplies of waste, which it is sorting at external facilities with spare capacity to allow it to mitigate the impact of the fire and continue to sell recycled polyethylene (R-PE), recycled polypropylene (R-PP). When sufficient spare capacity cannot be found, material will be stockpiled and processed and sold in 2022.

The Zwolle site processed waste plastic, metal and drinking cartons, and had a combined sorting capacity of 90,000 tonnes/year.

There is a current shortage of recycled high density polyethylene (R-HDPE) and R-PP waste sorting capacity in Europe due to a combination of:

  • Rising demand for recycled material
  • Workforce and logistic disruption due to the impact of COVID-19
  • Sorting systems unable to keep pace with regulatory changes to types of material collected - particularly in France

Sorting shortages are one of the causes of low HDPE and PP bale availability, and are a current bottleneck for production throughout the R-HDPE and R-PP chains.