The AI trained to recognise waste for recycling

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Approximately 2.24 billion tonnes of solid waste was produced in 2020 alone, according to the World Bank. It says the figure is likely to rise by 73% to 3.88 billion tonnes by 2050.

Plastic is particularly problematic. From the start of large-scale production of the material in the 1950s until 2015, more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste was produced, research from the Universities of Georgia and California calculated.

Greyparrot places cameras above the conveyor belts of around 50 waste and recycling sites in Europe, utilising AI software to analyse what passes through in real-time.

AI technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the past year, and its ability to process images is now very sophisticated. However, Mikela Druckman says it was still hard to train a system to recognise rubbish.


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