Recycleye seizes $17 million, calls plastics crisis a ‘massive business opportunity’

by Ana Lopez

London-based Recycleye highlights the plastics industry’s notorious track record of recycling, saying it has raised $17 million in new funding led by deep tech investor DCVC.

The startup claims its recycling-picking robots can identify materials “at an unparalleled 60 frames per second” and sort them more precisely than humans can. Finally the startup say his technology reduces the “cost of sorting materials.” has contacted the company for information on expected cost savings.

Based in Palo Alto, DCVC says its mission is to “multiply the benefits of capitalism for all while reducing costs.” Climate technology is one of the focal points and a lens through which to see the environmental toll of capitalism. In the case of plastics, the oil industry has held on for a long time preached the virtues of plastic recycling, while doubt its economic viabilityto sell more new plastic.

Each stage of plastic production disrupts the climate and the natural world, from “the extraction and transportation of the fossil fuels that are the primary raw materials for plastic, to refining and manufacturing, to waste management, to the plastic that ends up in the environment”, the Center for International Environmental Law wrote in 2019.

Plastic pollution – a major driver of climate change – is also on the rise. This is partly due to shortcomings in “waste management and recycling”, OECD, said an intergovernmental body last year. The group concluded that someone needs that “create a separate and well-functioning market for recycled plastic.”

The problem is: sort most plastic, melt it down and eventually reuse it – and you can recycle only a few times is much more expensive than buying new plastic. moften we just don’t. Most plastic (approx 91%per OECD) is not recycled and Single-use plastic production is at an all-time high.

By focusing on speeding up the scanning, identification and sorting of used materials, Recycleye is one of many companies trying to fix part of this broken system with AI. Citing the OECD report, Recycleye said: “Changing these wasteful and environmentally damaging dynamics seen across a range of materials presents a huge business opportunity.”

Recycleye says its machine learning and scanning technology is “twice the industry standard and means each item is seen an average of 30 times as it moves down the assembly line, with double the chance of being accurately identified before being picked. ” We’ve reached out to the company for more context on these numbers.

Several other investors joined Recycleye’s new Series A funding round, including a London-based early stage investor Playfair capital.

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