These invisible barcodes make plastic more likely to be recycled

By making it possible for recycling facilities to quickly scan a bottle or parcel and learn what it’s made of and where it’s from, this new tech could reach recycling more efficient and accurate.

Today, when you recycle a plastic container, it goes to a material recovery facility, where it must be identified and sorted. Facilities often rely on imprecise older technology to try to figure out materials in a particular piece of consume. Employees standing next to conveyor belts as packets whiz by can catch others. But by implant a microscopic change in a decoration of pixels–called an invisible barcode–on the label, software can instant identify the package so it can be sorted and recycled correctly.

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