Cooperation to improve household waste recycling technologies
The OMNI project is one of the 7 winning projects selected by Citeo in the framework of its call for projects launched in October 2020. With OMNI, partners wish to develop innovative technologies for identifying household packaging and graphic paper, to improve the quality monitoring and control of recycled materials from collection to the final recycler.
The OMNI Project leverages artificial intelligence and image recognition to automatically identify, categorise and separate “food grade” from “non-food grade” plastic packaging.
A crucial step in recycling, automated sorting supported by artificial intelligence makes it possible to address a key problem in the recycling sector. Indeed, effective recognition and separation of items that have contained food product from others is not possible today.
Since its inception in 2019, Recycleye has validated and deployed across the UK and French markets a world leading AI vision system capable of identifying and classifying individual items of waste streams – by material, object and even brand. The OMNI Project will build on top of Recycleye’s existing capabilities to enable the detection of “food-grade” plastics.
The OMNI Project expands the accessible market for recyclables, by optimising the quality of recycled materials that are passed on to plastic manufacturers and developing new applications, such as food packaging.
Head of Operations at Recycleye, Isabelle Chapman Beltrão announced: “Partnering with Valorplast and Total as part of Citeo’s call for projects is pivotal in helping Recycleye achieve its mission to accelerate the world’s transition towards a circular economy, by further lowering risks associated with the automation of the waste management industry and enabling more materials to be identified and recycled. The developments targeted in the OMNI Project will make Recycleye the only provider of vision-based sorting incorporating “food-grade” plastic detection”.
Since its creation, Valorplast has focused on three areas to develop the circular economy of plastic packaging:
- Increasing the recycling rate of household plastic packaging through eco-design and the extension of sorting instructions,
- Guaranteeing high-quality recycled plastics to ensure their use in high value-added applications,
- Innovating to co-develop the recycling channels of the future.
Alban Cotard, Sales, Quality and Development Manager at Valorplast commented: “We are very enthusiastic about the idea of participating in the development of these new technologies. They constitute an opportunity to progress sorting capabilities and advance the possibilities of high added value regeneration of household packaging.”
In line with these, the Valorplast teams dedicated to the OMNI Project will commit their operational expertise in sorting, intense sorting and recycling to the development of innovative technologies.
Total is deeply committed to recycling plastics and intends to produce 30% recycled polymers by 2030. As part of the OMNI project, Total’s teams will leverage their industrial and R&D expertise to improve the recyclability of plastics, derived from household waste, into high-performance recycled polymers, suitable for food applications.
“This partnership with Recycleye and Valorplast is an excellent example of collaboration and innovation to develop the recycling of food packaging. It opens new perspectives to meet the challenge of the circular economy and achieve our ambition of producing 30% recycled polymers by 2030″, said Valérie Goff, Senior Vice President, Polymers at Total.