Website Cookies

We use cookies to make your experience better. Learn more on how here

Accept

AI-powered food-grade plastic sorting project delivers world first.

An AI-powered food-grade plastic sorting project led by Recycleye, Valorplast, and TotalEnergies has delivered a world first towards polypropylene mechanical recycling.

Collaborative research project OMNI directed by Recycleye, Valorplast, and TotalEnergies to enhance the circularity of polypropylene (PP) food packaging led to ground-breaking results.

The new technology based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer vision, coupled with an efficient decontamination process, provides a high-performing marketable solution to tackle the challenge of mechanically recycling polypropylene for food-contact applications.

Project OMNI is an innovative project aiming to leverage AI and Machine Learning for the identification and separation of food-grade PP from household post-consumer wastes. It is one of the 7 projects successfully selected in October 2020 by CITEO, a mission-led company reducing the environmental impacts of household packaging and paper, in the framework of a call for projects.

After 18 months of research, Project OMNI led to an alternative to digital and physical marking solutions which require system-wide packaging changes. In a demonstration unit, Recycleye built and trained an AI model based on wastes collected from 5 locations across France supplied and characterized by Valorplast.

The AI and robotic sorting achieved a successful pick rate of 50% of the food-grade material, with >95% purity. This sorting activity produced material used for further decontamination on a semi-industrial pilot based on off-the-shelf mechanical recycling technologies. TotalEnergies then leveraged its polymer expertise to produce odorless, clean rPP suitable for high-end packaging applications.

The novel developed process has demonstrated the efficient decontamination of food-grade PP waste sorted by AI and computer vision and opens new opportunities for circularity of polypropylene packaging.

Nathalie Brunelle, Senior Vice President, Polymers at TotalEnergies, said: “This project not only demonstrates how cutting-edge technology can improve material circularity, but also paves the way for a wider range of accessible applications for recycled polymers to serve our customers. It provides a concrete response to the challenge of managing end-of-life plastics, and fully supports our ambition of reaching 1 million tons of circular polymers”.

Victor Dewulf, CEO of Recycleye added “We are extremely excited to see this successful application of our robust AI-powered sorting technology at a semi-industrial scale. This application opens the possibility of creating new markets for recycled plastics materials; ultimately changing the economics of recycling”.

“Being able to recycle food-grade PP is a key factor in the establishment of a circular economy for PP packaging. AI is a promising route for achieving this objective” commented Alban Cotard, Sales Quality and Development Manager at Valorplast.

News

Urbaser and Recycleye announce first AI waste sorting innovation in Spain.

Urbaser, a world-leader in environmental solutions today announced an investment in automated sorting technology with an AI-powered waste picking robot. Due to be installed in Algimia, Valencia during H1 2024, the technology is provided by UK-based technology provider Recycleye. The robot, which uses computer vision to automatically detect and sort waste, will be installed on…

READ POST
News

Recycleye wins FANUC award for innovation and extends exclusive robot deal

FANUC UK has underlined its commitment to AI-powered robotic waste picking company Recycleye by extending its exclusive UK deal with the tech innovator, as well as internationally recognising its achievements at the FANUC Global Partner Awards. A number of global partners were honoured at the event which took place in Japan in November 2023, with…

READ POST
News

SWEEEP Kuusakoski and Recycleye announce a first in AI-powered WEEE and metals sorting

Today, SWEEEP Kuusakoski and Recycleye announced the first successful commercial application of AI computer vision in the detection and sorting of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) in the UK. This announcement brings the use of artificial intelligence for automated sorting to WEEE and metals, which although is increasingly being used to sort household waste,…

READ POST