Anhui Guowang Eco Technology CO., Ltd.
Anhui Guowang Eco Technology CO., Ltd.

2022 Plastics Recycling: 8 Innovations and Trends in Automated Recycling

Automated recycling

The plastic recycling industry supports AI solutions for automated production lines and waste classification improvements. This allows plastic recyclers to improve operational efficiency and address labor shortages. Some plastic recycling startups offer automated chemical recycling facilities, which minimize manual intervention. As a result, the risks associated with workers being exposed to high temperatures are reduced and safety is increased. Other startups provide automated plastic processing machines for consumer-facing companies. This enables government authorities and regeneration businesses to encourage climate-friendly behavior, thus increasing the company's brand value.

Recycleye simplifies automated waste sorting

Recycleye is a UK-based startup that develops automated waste sorting systems. It combines machine learning, computer vision, and robotics technology to automate waste analysis and classification, increasing the transparency of recycling conveyors and enabling plastic recyclers to improve sorting efficiency and reduce operating costs.

Greyparrot achieves automated waste analysis

Greyparrot is a UK-based startup that aims to promote automated waste analysis. Its computer vision-driven waste identification system is integrated with conveyor belts in sorting facilities to categorize waste flow. Additionally, it continuously monitors and analyzes waste flows, providing real-time, objective displays of waste components. The system's accompanying application programming interface (API) supports third-party system integration, such as sorting robots, improving plastic recycling facility efficiency and enabling operational automation.


Most plastic waste ends up in landfills and incinerators because it was not designed for end-of-life recycling. This is why various startups are developing materials optimized for recycling. These include single-material plastics that improve recycling efficiency and recyclable low-carbon plastic substitutes. When combined with efficient recycling processes, such materials can enhance plastic recycling quality. Because post-consumer plastic waste has a significant impact on global waste issues, plastic collectors also make extra efforts to manufacture post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics. This allows plastic recyclers to generate higher commercial value from their waste streams, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Ecoplasteam develops infinitely recyclable plastic

Ecoplasteam is an Italian startup that produces EcoAllen, an infinitely recyclable plastic. This startup uses multilayer recycled plastics and aluminum to develop EcoAllen, making its price independent of fluctuations in the oil market, unlike virgin plastics. Additionally, Ecoplasteam's production process significantly lowers recycling costs and is applied in the packaging, cosmetics and construction industries.

Cirplus maintains a recycled plastic marketplace

German startup Cirplus provides a recycled plastic marketplace. Its online platform allows plastic recyclers to sell recycled materials and waste. It integrates data quality standards data for recyclers to specify recycling features such as color and recycling method. This allows buyers to quickly find materials based on their requirements, increasing the coverage and income of plastic recycling facilities.