Abstract

The identification and classification of plastics plays an important role in waste management and recycling processes. Present electrical and optical sorting techniques lack the required resolution for accurate identification in a high throughput manner for a diverse set of plastics commonly found in municipal waste. In this work a multi-spectral infrared spectroscopic technique is employed to construct a unique fingerprint library of 12 plastic resin groups that are commonly encountered in municipal waste. We test the proposed method in a blind plastic identification experiment, which shows excellent unbiased identification accuracy. This simple optical technique in combination with the multi-spectral library will enable high throughput and accurate detection of various plastics from recovered solid waste.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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