The 2011-14 hard plastic recycling initiative in Copenhagen, the EU-funded ‘Plastic Zero’ program, has exceeded expectations.
According to the City Council, city residents have helped it to so far ship 600 tonnes to sorting plants in Germany – 18 percent more than expected.
The goal is for the council to launch its own scheme next January and to reach 1,000 tonnes a year from apartments in 2015 and a further 400 tonnes annually from houses when they join the scheme in September 2015.
Morten Kabell, the deputy mayor for technical and environmental issues, hopes that the city will have its own sorting plant within the next three to five years, instead of having to ship it across the border.
“An EU report from 2011 showed that recycling creates more jobs and higher income than landfills and incineration plants manage,” Kabell said according to Ingeniøren newspaper.
“When Copenhagen is up and running, we want to be able to collect so much plastic that Danish jobs can be created via the establishment of a plant in Denmark.
As part of Plastic Zero, the City Council works with Danish and foreign partners to find the best method of sorting and using recycled plastic.
An example of this is the dialogue that the city has established with Danish companies such as Arla Foods and Tetra Pak, which has a desire to produce more sustainable packaging in its new products.
Malmö and Hamburg are two other cities involved in the project, as are Aalborg University, Amager Resource Centre and garbage companies in Tampere, Finland and Liepaja in Latvia.