A new system that can actually identify the differences between different types of plastic is set to turn the world of recycling upside down as plastics will no longer have to be sorted before they can be processed.
Veolia Environmental Services is responsible for this new intelligent recycling system and will help make it easier to collect many different plastics since separate containers will not be needed for each type. It is expected that this one advancement will help to change the way that plastics are recycled within the UK.
The system is formally known as the Magpie, and was introduced in the UK back in October of 2011. It improves on the traditional way of processing plastics because it is able to differentiate on its own the different between colours and polymers of plastic bottles so that humans do not actually have to do the sorting.
In order to identify the differences the Magpie has an infrared beam that can pick out the plastics and send each different waste type to a different storage area for proper processing. This makes it possible to sort recycling without manual labor making it a quicker and cost-effective way to increase the amount of plastic that is recycled and processed on a daily basis.