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Plastics Standards 1.0 for Recycling Facility Efficiency

Document the characteristics of commonly used plastics that is applied to AR and IR apps for easy recognition of otherwise lost recylclables

Photo of Steve Clark
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Plastic straws, spoons, forks, knives - "plasticware" - and other small items are often lost in recycling facilities, ending up in the ocean where they are of no value. Given that we know the characteristics of these items - their shapes and colors - imagine if we could easily recognize them as they come down the conveyer belt?


This is remarkably easy to accomplish if we could document the characteristics of these items and eventually create a design standard. If the shapes, sizes and colors could be uploaded into a low-cost augmented reality application, recycling facility workers could easily identify the items they are hired to pull off the belt as long as these items are the shiniest of shiny objects, as viewed through IR or VR glasses. 




Idea Title

Sustainable Scanning

Where are you / your team located?

Santa Clara, California

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

It doesn't. We cannot expect manufacturers to change their designs or materials yet. However, by simply documenting these items' characteristics we can program simple technology to easily identify these lost items that miss the final recycling bin and end up in the ocean.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Use Case: Recyclable items that do not get identified quickly enough on the conveyer belt Persona: Recycling Technician assigned to small items.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

It reduces waste in the oceans and adds revenue to the recycling organization.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

It was improv one afternoon at an OpenIDEO workshop

Tell us about your work experience

I'm a product manager for a creative agency

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

None

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