Laser diffraction waste identification and sorting - initial observations

This paper summarises an initial concept study to consider the potential for imprinting diffraction structures into plastic containers as they are formed, so that during recycling the presence of the diffraction structure can be detected by laser scanning and therefore targeted plastics packages for recycling can be identified.

This would have particular application in sorting recyclable packs that were previously in contact with food.

The study concludes that the concept is theoretically possible and suggests practical experiments that could assist in developing a working model.