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New Hub paper on sorting technologies for compostable plastics

As a result of public pressure and government legislation to reduce plastic waste there has been a sharp rise in the manufacture and use of alternatives to conventional plastics including compostable and biodegradable plastics. If these plastics are not collected separately, they can contaminate plastic recycling, organic waste streams, and the environment. To deal with this contamination requires effective identification and sorting of these different polymer types to ensure they are separated and composted at end of life. This review provides the comprehensive overview of the identification and sorting technologies that can be applied to sort compostable and biodegradable plastics including gravity-based sorting, flotation sorting, triboelectrostatic sorting, image-based sorting, spectral based sorting, hyperspectral imaging and tracer-based sorting. The advantages and limitations of each sorting approach are discussed within a circular economy framework.

Available here.

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