Sorting plants

Sorting plants

Sorting plants

In order to recycle the packaging from the products we typically consume, it must be sorted into groups, depending on the type of material it is made from.

For the light packaging from the yellow container, we have three very different groups: plastic, metal and cartons. Before they are sent to their respective recyclers, they must be separated in packaging sorting plants, of which there are 90 scattered throughout Spain.


Light packaging from the yellow container is sorted into:


    Metals: Steel and aluminum

    Plastics: PET, HDPE, FILM and mixed plastic


Once separated, each type is sent to its corresponding recycler, which will transform it into new raw material used to manufacture new packaging or any other product that uses these materials, such as automobile parts, piping, textile fibers, etc.

Metals are sent to steel mills or aluminum smelting plants, depending on whether the packaging is made of steel or aluminum. The different plastics, PET, HDPE, film and mixed, are sent separately to their own recyclers, as is carton packaging.

Delivery of sorted materials to different recyclers

In order for a recycler to be eligible to receive materials from these plants, it must comply with a series of technical, financial and environmental requirements that ensure the packaging is correctly processed.

As a result, every recycler wishing to receive these materials must be properly certified, to which end they must follow a properly audited awarding process.

Training at Sorting Plants

At Ecoembes we provide training to personnel at those plants that request it to aid them to better identify the different materials.

To this end we contract companies to provide this training at sorting plants, bulk trash processing plants and other facilities. The contracting is performed using an ISO 9001 certified awarding process.

The company currently under contract is, and will be until 31 December 2018, SOIL RECOVERY.

Manual on Light Packaging Sorting Plants

The Manual on Light Packaging Sorting Plants is a tool made available by Ecoembes to waste specialists employed at public agencies and at operating and engineering companies. It brings together the knowledge amassed over the years involving the design and operation of packaging sorting plants.

Download a PDF of the Manual on Light Packaging Sorting Plants

Click here to see the online version of the Manual on Light Packaging Sorting Plants