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(VIDEO) Greyparrot's hybrid AI waste recognition system receives £488,000 development grant

A Greyparrot AI waste recognition system

UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge has £30 million in funding collaborative projects that support the achievement of the UK Plastics Pact available.

Greyparrot, in collaboration with Blue Green Vision, have been awarded £488,000 by UKRI to develop a hybrid AI/Near-Infrared (NIR) waste recognition and monitoring system to provide automated, cost-effective, and accurate recognition of plastics waste at scale. Critically, the system will enable the identification of all types of material and packaging, including the recognition of black plastics and mixed material packaging (e.g sleeved bottles) that confuse current NIR systems; but also distinguishing packaging by usage (e.g food vs non food) and differentiating polymers with a high granularity. The live recognition data will be integrated with sorting machines and other equipment to add this unique cognitive intelligence to existing infrastructure. This will increase the accuracy of plastics sorting including food and non-food grade packaging separation. Furthermore, this recognition capability will be extended to other materials such as scrap metal, WEEE, and fibre.

Many leading waste management companies have already utilized Greyparrot's AI products including Biffa, A2A, and Suez. Greyparrot's customers will be among the first to benefit from this characterization capability including third-party systems using the company's AI Vision Integration (API). This is the case with ACI Chemical who currently use Greyparrot's AI model to power their sorting robots. 

"We are thrilled to be working with Blue Green Vision on a new approach to optimise material auditing and sorting at scale, contributing to a stronger UK recycling system," said Mikela Druckman, co-founder and CEO of Greyparrot. "Our ultimate goal is to support the UK Plastics Pact's target which calls for 70 percent of plastics packaging to be recycled or composted."

"If successful, these projects have the potential to rewrite the relationship we all have with plastic packaging," said Paul Davidson, challenge director for UKRI's SSPP challenge.

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