INSPIRE4LIFE - Innovative sorting process plastIc recycling

LIFE13 ENV/FR/001483

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Sébastien MICHEL
Tel: +33 442604570
Email: sebastien.michel@bertin.fr

Project description:


Industrial plastic waste is a growing waste stream in the EU. This includes plastic pieces coming from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and furniture. However, this waste does not yet benefit from a proper recycling chain, largely due to the challenges of automating the sorting process.

Imperfect sorting means that when industrial plastic waste is processed, the recycled plastic obtained is not of the highest quality possible. This in turn makes it difficult to exploit the material in the production of secondary materials and large amounts are landfilled, incinerated or shipped to Asia.

Landfilling renders large areas uninhabitable, leads to leaching, and will require a greater effort in the future to purge waste piles. Incinerating contaminated waste streams leads to the emission of greenhouse gases and other hazardous components. Shipping waste to Asia may lead to it being recycled or processed but not necessarily in a way that meets EU environmental, hygiene or safety standards.


The INSPIRE4LIFE project aims to demonstrate, at a pilot scale, an innovative automated sorting process to improve the quality of recycled industrial plastic materials and the re-use of large plastic pieces. The new process will aim to significantly increase the productivity of industrial plastic waste sorting compared to the average of 0.25-0.3 tonne/hour achieved by the current best available technology.

This innovative sorting system will allow an initial fast processing of large plastic pieces at the dismantling stage of the end-of-life object. Improved sorting will then lead to a higher quality recyclate, for example, as granulate, as the output of the process. This will be immediately exploitable by compounders to produce and sell secondary materials to polymer producers. The quality of the recycled material achieved should open the way to its use in a greater range of products and markets.

The project will pave the way for the scaling-up of this demonstration plastic waste treatment process in industrial-scale installations across Europe after the project ends. This would achieve a significant increase in the volume of recycled industrial plastic and the range of polymer types processed.

Expected results:

  • An automated sorting process for industrial plastic waste with a capacity of 1.0 tonne/hour, for an investment of €200 000-300 000;
  • The pilot plant will be able to process 200 tonnes/year of polymeric waste, based on its operation for 4 hours/day and 200 days/year;
  • An increase of the purity of the output plastic of up to 99%;
  • A reduction of 2 tonne of CO2 emissions per tonne of waste;
  • A reduction in energy use of 20 000 MJ per tonne of waste;
  • The installation of 50-200 systems throughout Europe during the next 10 years;
  • An increase of up to 20% by weight (1 million tonne) in the amount of industrial plastic waste recycled from different waste streams.



Environmental issues addressed:


Energy - Efficiency
Energy - Savings
Waste - Packaging and plastic waste
Waste - Waste recycling


industrial waste‚  waste recycling‚  plastic waste‚  waste collection‚  plastic

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description BERTIN Technologies is a private company specialising in cross-fertilisation between engineering and life sciences in areas such as mechanical design, electronics, optics and fluid dynamics. It offers technological innovations and system developments to the healthcare, sustainable development, defence and industrial sectors.
Partners EUPC(European Plastics Converters), Belgium


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/FR/001483
Duration 02-JUN-2014 to 30-SEP -2018
Total budget 1,672,805.00 €
EU contribution 828,902.00 €
Project location Provence-Alpes-Côte d' Azur(France)


Read more:

Leaflet "Inspire : nouveau procédé de tri et d'identificat ...
Poster "Projet LIFE+ Inspire: nouveau procédé de tri et d ...
Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version