March 7, 2022
AMP Robotics, which develops robotics, infrastructure and artificial intelligence for the waste and recycling industry, has announced it extended its partnership with Evergreen, one of North America’s three largest producers of food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). The company now has 15 of AMP’s robotic sorting systems guided by AI installed or planned across three facilities. In addition to six robots in Clyde, Ohio, Evergreen has added six in Riverside, Calif., and will soon add three in Albany, N.Y.
AMP uses technology to identify and sort green and clear PET from post-consumer bales of plastic soft drink bottles at speeds up to three times faster and at a higher accuracy than manual sorters can achieve. Evergreen then recycles the material into reusable flakes or pellets, which it sells to end markets as feedstock for new containers and packaging.
“Evergreen is a leader in the transformation of recycling processes, and its application of AI-guided sortation is increasing plastic recycling rates and helping to close the loop on PET,” said Mantanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics. “Evergreen’s repeat orders of our systems is a testament to the operational benefits of our AI and automation solutions, and we’re proud to play a role in the company’s expansion and modernization efforts.”
Evergreen said it has seen a notable improvement in purity, along with pick rates of 120 bottles per minute (200% increase) since using the AMP robots. The robots are also removing up to 90% of contamination, on average, across different lines at the Clyde, Ohio, facility. Because of expansion and infrastructure investments, Evergreen said its annual capacity of rPET has swelled to more than 147 million pounds, up from 40 million pounds one year ago. Evergreen said it also increased the number of post-consumer PET bottles it collects and recycles, from two billion PET bottles annually to 11.6 billion bottles.
“As a leader in the transition to recycled PET from virgin resin, the precision and accuracy of AI-enabled robotics has allowed us to better monitor material composition throughout our operation, increase capture, and ensure high quality in the rPET resin we produce,” said Greg Johnson, general manager at Evergreen. “We want to recover all we can, and with AMP’s technology, we are – thereby helping to supply a higher-quality end product and a larger volume of recycled plastic for brands to source for their recycled content goals and sustainability commitments.”
In addition to PET, AMP said its AI platform precisely identifies and captures plastics including high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS), sorted further by color, clarity, and opacity, along with different form factors — lids, tubs, clamshells, cups, and more. AMP’s technology also recovers cardboard, paper, cans, cartons, and many other containers and packaging types reclaimed for raw material processing. It can quickly adapt to container packaging introduced into the recycling stream with recognition capabilities to the brand level—increasingly critical as demand for sufficient quantities of high-quality recycled material grows to meet consumer packaged goods companies’ commitment to use of post-consumer recycled content.
For more information about AMP Robotics and its technology, visit its website here.