Today, Swedish households throw over 200,000 tonnes of plastic packaging directly in the garbage without sorting them, according to a review by Ekot.

But the new plants will be able to capture much of the plastic that today goes to combustion.

- We believe that plastic recycling can increase by factor five, ie five times more plastic. This is probably the most dramatic change we can see in the near future, says Ulf Wikström, sustainability manager at Stockholm Exergi, a company run by Fortum and the City of Stockholm, to Ekot.

May reduce emissions

It is true that energy is used when plastics are burnt, but if other district heating plants followed, it would make a big difference for emissions, according to Kåre Gustavsson, strategist at Stockholm Exergi and researcher at KTH.

- Preliminary calculations that we have done show that it could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 500,000 tonnes per year, says Kåre Gustavsson to Ekot.

Every kilo of plastic burned gives rise to three kilos of carbon dioxide.