New technologies are using artificial intelligence to make big leaps in solving the issues around flexible plastic film recycling.

If you’ve been listening to the news at all lately, you’ve been hearing a lot about Artificial Intelligence – mostly regarding ChatGPT or AI-created art. But did you know that industrial Artificial Intelligence has the ability to change the face of our recycling infrastructure?

A recent article on Packaging World’s website discusses emerging technologies and how they can solve some of the more vexing recycling challenges. One of these challenges is with flexible film plastics, which can get caught in machinery or wrapped up with other recyclable materials, amongst other issues. Due to these issues, flexible film plastics are often banned in community recycling programs.

But, there’s good news! New technologies can effectively and efficiently be used to identify and sort these flexible packaging materials so much faster than ever before using a combination of sensors, optical technology, and robotics all wrapped with a layer of artificial intelligence that helps these systems learn as they go. Learn a more about these AI-powered robotics in this Axios article.

Even better, once installed and in place, these robots can adapt with the times. With new materials and additional types of packaging continuously being introduced, these robots can be quickly trained to identify new materials and packaging in their sorting streams.

The Packaging World article also cites an AMERIPEN report, “2023 Packaging Compass” discussing improved capabilities in chemical recycling that will increase the amount of approved recyclable content for food contact use. This capability will increase the amount of flexible plastic film that can be reused for food contact, rather than requiring it to be used for downgraded products.

While Artificial Intelligence in recycling is still in its early days, we are seeing increased investment and a lot of exciting new technologies coming down the line. There is a plethora of start-ups in the AI recycling space that have the potential to make a huge difference in environmental impact and a massive increase in the recycling and reuse of plastic waste.

As your sustainable packaging partner, we are staying on top of all these new trends and exciting technologies so we can help you make the best decisions about your packaging to meet your sustainability and environmental impact goals. Are you looking for more options in sustainable packaging? Contact AMGRAPH today!