Science

AI accurately identifies whether objects can be recycled from a glance

Bales of plastic waste at a materials recycling facility in the UK

Peter Alvey / Alamy

A neural network trained on a dataset of images can identify recyclable objects with more than 95 per cent accuracy using a standard webcam.

Recyclable objects ending up in landfill is a major issue for the planet. Nine out of 10 plastic objects don’t end up being recycled, according to one analysis. Part of the issue is human uncertainty about what items can be recycled.

Being able to rapidly identify what objects are made of, and therefore their …

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