How did the recycling start with cardboard etc.

Recyclable packaging

The order

Plastic packaging that is picked up with the door-to-door collection (blue bag) is unloaded in the sorting system in Bech-Kleinmacher. The packs can be separated according to size by first sorting them using a rotating sieve. This process allows very large plastic films to be separated from the rest of the sorting process. Then the smaller and lighter foils are first separated from the rest of the packaging by an air separator that sucks in the foils, and finally by a ballistic separator. At the end of this process, the foils (PE and PP) are completely separated from the solid packaging. The solid packagings continue their journey through the sorting system and pass through various separation stages that are equipped with light beams in the near infrared (NIR). Each NIR can identify a very specific material (PP, PS, PET, PE-HD). At the end of the sorting chain, all packaging waste is sorted by type of material. With PET bottles, different NIRs are also used to identify the color of the bottle and sort it into transparent / light blue bottles, dark blue / green bottles, and bottles of other colors. At the end of the sorting process, each material is pressed and prepared for delivery to the various recycling companies.


Bech-Kleinmacher transports the bales to various recyclers:

  • PET to Wellman and Plastipak Packaging in France;
  • PE-HD to Paprec in France, to AGR_DAR and to Replano in Germany;
  • PE and PP films for AGR_DAR to Germany;
  • PP to Paprec to France and to AGR_DAR to Germany;
  • PS to Vogt Plastic in Germany;
  • EPS to the Fischer Group in Germany.

At the level of the recycling company, each material requires a specific treatment technique. In general, processors have therefore specialized in recycling a plastic resin. This is because resins have different densities and require different melting temperatures. Some resins, such as B. Resins from PET bottles can be converted back into new bottles. Most plastics, however, have not yet been approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) for their reuse in food contact applications. Plastic resins for which reintegration in food contact applications is not permitted must therefore not be mixed with plastic resins for which this approval does not exist. This also explains the importance of supplying every processor with plastic resins of a single type.

Even if the recycling process requires a very specific technique for each plastic resin, the main stages remain similar. First, the packaging waste is washed in order to remove large contaminants such as adhesives. Then they are crushed into flakes, washed again and then melted and pressed into granules. These granules are used to make new objects or packaging.


Did you know? Focus on bottle caps

When sorting at home, you can leave the caps on the bottles. During the wash, the flakes float from the HDPE caps at the top and those from the bottles at the bottom so that the processor can easily separate them before the recycling process continues.

However, if you want to support a local Luxembourg campaign, you can collect it separately and donate it to the ASA association, which finances the training of assistance dogs through its "E Stopp fir e Mupp" campaign.