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This news article was originally written in Spanish. It has been automatically translated for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace a human translator. The original article in Spanish can be viewed at Separarlo todo, todo, todo

A system based on pyrolysis maximizes recycling paper, plastic and aluminum in a same Tetra Pak packaging

Separate him everything, everything, everything

Drafting Interempresas29/06/2011


Tetra pak, business processing and packaging of food, stora enso paper and society non-profit dedicated to the management and recycling of packaging Ecoembes have introduced a new system of recycling pioneer in the world based on pyrolysis. This method allows to make use of separate paper, polyethylene (plastic) and the aluminum of the Tetra Pak packaging.
Aluminium is compressed into ingots to sell it to the industry and turn back into raw.

So far, in Spain polyethylene and aluminium content in packaging Tetra Pak are used jointly for the manufacture of plastic products through procedures of agglomeration, fusion and extrusion. With the new system, optimizes the use of these materials: the fiber's role becomes recycled paper of high quality aluminium in new bullion ready for all kinds of applications. Polyethylene, converted into gas, provides energy for the recycling of paper for the production of aluminium.

"With this new technology, now is possible to go one step further and take advantage of all the value not only of the role, but also of polyethylene and aluminium of the Tetra Pak packaging," says Victor Marcos, Manager of Tetra Pak environment.

For its part, Melchor Ordóñez, CEO of Ecoembes Spain says: "this technological advance is one step further on the objectives of recycling of packaging, providing greater added value to their life cycle and, consequently, greater advantages for the environment and society." "From the outset we have supported the initiative by its environmental relevance, which is fully aligned with the objectives of our company"

With an investment of 10 million euros, Stora Enso expected to implement this technology on an industrial scale and support their subsequent implementation in bins of other countries.

Award-winning in Europe

This initiative has recently received the prize of the European Union 'best of the best' Life-Environment projects. The innovative load the environmental relevance of the project has been supported by the Centre for the Industrial technological development (CDTI), the European Commission and the Ministry of industry, and is a world reference in technological innovation.


The Tetra Pak packaging recycling process consists of separating the role of the polyethylene and aluminium with a hidropulper. Paper fibers are suspended in the water and then through filters retains the polyethylene and aluminium packaging. Cardboard boxes, bags or boxes, among other applications, are made from the recycled paper.

Thanks to this new technology based on pyrolysis, polyethylene and the remaining aluminium also are separated. Through the application of high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, polyethylene is gasifica and is drawn to convert it into energy, while the aluminium is recovered with great purity.

Through the application of high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, polyethylene is gasifica and is drawn to convert it into energy, while the aluminium recovers with high purity

This process is energetically self-sustaining, since Chamber of pyrolysis is heated with oil and gas retrieved part and the rest is used to produce the necessary steam factory of role associated with the recycling plant, an increase of energy efficiency and a significant savings of fuel and water.

The aluminium that remains in the camera transforms into flakes, which cooled and compressed into ingots for selling to the aluminium industry and become new raw material, thus closing its life cycle. Thus recovered aluminium is used as a part in new products: cars, planes or Windows profiles.

Bullets of tetra-briks for recycling at the premises of Stora Enso, in Barcelona.

The process in figures

Source: Tetra Pak.

-Tetra Pak packaging consists of paper (75%), plastic (20%) and aluminium (5%). The paper gives the consistency, the water-tightness plastic and aluminium barrier against the light and air.

-Every year they put on the market Spanish around 6 billion Tetra Pak packaging

-In 2010 is reciclaron in Spain with the yellow container 71,000 tons of Tetra Pak packaging, which is 53.2% of consumed Spain packaging

-For each kilo of packaging recycling are obtained:

  • 5.2 kWh
  • 25 grams of aluminum
  • 700 grams of fiber in paper
-Annual capacity of the new plant of Stora Enso for recycling aluminum is:
  • 1,260 tons of aluminum
  • 47,500 MWh/a

Related Companies or Entities

Ecoembalajes España, S.A.


Highlighted links

Tecma - IFEMA - Feria de MadridEcofira - Feria Valencia