Redwave system separates transparent and white HDPE bottles at Hanbury Plastics Recycling


Stoke-on-Trent company Hanbury Plastics Recycling (HPR) has installed a Redwave optical sorter to separate transparent and white HDPE bottles.

According to Redwave, this is the first time this has been realised in a sorting plant, as it is a challenging task to identify the subtle difference in the colour spectrum between transparent and while HDPE bottles.


HPR sorts commingled commercial, industrial and post-consumer waste in separated polymers streams.

It handles around 40,000 tonnes per year of mixed kerbside collected plastic material, with the sorting system designed to remove all fibre, film, ferrous and non-ferrous metal and various plastics.

The system operates at approximately five to six tonnes per hour. Plastic bales are fed into a bale breaker and then into a ballistic separator. Fines from the ballistic separator are collected, and the overs are passed under a magnet to remove all the ferrous material. It then goes through an eddy current separator to eject all non-ferrous material.

The remaining material flow passes under two optical sorting units to select various plastic materials. From here, the final plastic material flow is fed to a 3-way Redwave optical sorter, which removes natural or coloured PET, then natural or coloured HDPE leaving behind fibre and black plastics.