PET monolayer tray-to-tray recycling

Recycling of 250.000 plastic food trays from Copenhagen

The first ever large-scale demonstration of tray-to-tray recycling in Denmark

Copenhagen test sorting facility

Test sorting facility

Plastic packaging Photo: IHP Systems

New sorting robot at Copenhagen's test sorting facility

The potential to use image recognition algorithms coupled with modern robotics to increase the quality of recycling is enormous

Will the future of plastic sorting be based on digital watermarks?

AIM, the European Brands Association, and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste announced today a partnership to drive the next stage of progress for intelligent waste sorting within the Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0. They will collaborate with the City of Copenhagen to commence the semi-industrial test phase of the pilot. With this milestone, developers move one step closer to precision identification and sorting of plastic packaging waste through digital watermarks, with the potential to revolutionise the sorting and recycling process of (plastic) packaging.

Furniture made from recycled post-consumer mixed films by rotational moulding

Recycling of mixed flexible plastics

Test production of ten new products based on post-consumer LDPE plastics

How to design plastic packaging for recycling

Design manual for plastic packaging


A significant amount of plastic waste is downcycled into products of much lower quality than compared to their original condition. Packaging sold in the supermarkets rarely gets returned as recycled packaging to the supermarket shelves, and today’s food packaging is not recycled into new food packaging on a wide scale. Instead, it is used for other applications, and these applications do not have to fulfill the same, strict, quality criteria for food packaging. Instead, this approach maintains the demand for new virgin materials.

In order to increase the quality of the secondary raw materials resulting from recycling of plastic packaging, two developments must take place:

  1. A significant amount of the plastic packaging, which is currently on the market, must be designed in a way, which allows for high-quality recycling. Too many products are made from multilayer material, harmful amounts of printing inks or non-washable labels that compromise quality.
  2. Even though significant improvements have been made in the past few years, existing infrastructurecapacity, and sorting technologies for mechanical, as well as chemical recycling of plastic packaging must be improved.

Please contact us if you wish to collaborate regarding plastics recycling.

How do we improve the quality of plastics recycling?


Copenhagen has been an active contributor to the development of an award-winning Danish design manual spearheaded by the Danish Plastics Federation.

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Reusable packaging

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Image recognition and AI

Recognition and sorting of specific products from mixed plastic waste using image recognition, AI, and sorting robots

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Food packaging

Copenhagen has engaged in a partnership with leading retailers, packaging producers, and waste recyclers to promote tray-to-tray recycling.

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Intelligent packaging

Improving the accuracy and effiency of sorting facilities for plastic packaging with intelligent packaging

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