Today’s Solutions: January 18, 2022

When we throw something in the recycling bin, we like to think that plastic waste will be reincarnated into something else. Sadly enough, the reality is that most of the plastic being produced today is non-recyclable and winds up in the landfill. To deal with all that non-recyclable plastic, a host of British companies are inventing new technologies that could drastically increase recycling rates.

One such example is Recycling Technologies, which has developed a machine that can melt down plastics that cannot currently be recycled, including clingfilm, crisp packets, and plastic pouches. That’s a big deal considering these types of plastics represent a big chunk of the plastic waste produced each year. The firm recently sold one of these machines to a local authority in Scotland and hopes to transport this across to the UK, potentially doubling Britain’s recycling capabilities by 2027.

Veolia, one of the UK’s largest waste management companies, is currently trialing artificial intelligence to improve its recycling operations. The technology reduces human error as cameras take thousands of pictures, which together with X-Ray technology, can tell people exactly what types of plastics are in the pile and what can be recycled.

These state-of-the-art machines are currently being trialed by some of the UK’s biggest recycling companies, and could potentially increase the country’s plastic recycling rates tenfold over the next decade.

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