Plastics News - Show Daily - October 25, 2022 - 11

SHOW DAILY
Plastics News, October 25, 2022 * 11
BASF, AEPW put waste scanners in the palm of your hand
By Steve Toloken
Plastics News Staff
BASF SE and the Alliance to
End Plastic Waste are using K
2022 to promote a project giving
away 50 handheld spectroscopy
devices to groups sorting and
recycling waste plastic, particularly
in developing countries.
A subsidiary of BASF, trinamiX
GmbH, has taken near-infrared
spectroscopy technology
and miniaturized it down to a
device a little larger than a mobile
phone. They're giving away
50 of the scanners in a plastic
waste challenge pilot to see how
they could be used to improve
treatment of plastic waste.
At K, the device is being displayed
at the BASF booth, and
the companies and AEPW are
holding a demonstration at the
BASF booth, Oct. 25 at noon.
They'll discuss the effort, which
is taking online applications
through Nov. 15.
Basically, the project takes
NIR sorting technology, currently
used on an industrial scale in
settings like plastic waste processing
plants, and brings it to
remote locations.
They said in a news release
their challenge project is open
to a wide range of organizations,
including waste pickers,
aggregators, converters, nongovernmental
organizations, academic
institutions and others.
" The idea is to bring this
technology into the areas that
have no technology at all, " said
Adrian Vogel, trinamiX business
development manager, in an interview
at K. " You have manual
sorters, manual collection and
people sort to the best of their
knowledge. Often what happens
is people flame it and smell it. "
Nicholas Kolesch, vice president
of projects at the Singapore-based
AEPW, said BASF is
a member company of the alliance.
He said AEPW learned of
the device about a year ago.
" The fact that it's a handheld
device that could be used in a
remote environment makes it
quite an interesting tool for various
users to identify and characterize
different types of plastic
waste, " he said. " Across several
of our projects in Southeast
Asia, we've deployed the device
and given it to our project partners
and they've been making
use of it in their facilities. "
AEPW and trinamiX first announced
the availability of the
device for plastic waste in June.
One group that's already received
it, Plastic Flamingo in
the Philippines, uses it to characterize
waste materials in their
recycling factory.
The group began as a " social
business " collecting and processing
waste plastic into board
and planks, but it has expanded
into producing and selling
post-consumer recycled pellets,
Kolesch said.
Commercially, trinamiX,
which is based in Ludwigshafen,
Germany, sells the device for
€6,100, with a €1,500 annual
fee for a subscription service
to link the scanner to a mobile
phone where data can be read.
Buyers of the device, which
has been sold for about two
years, include post-industrial
plastics recycling
companies
doing quality control on incoming
materials, Vogel said.
Vogel said the 50 groups chosen
in the trial will get the hardware
for free and a one-year
license. If they like the technology,
they can keep the device
and negotiate a fee for the data
service, he said.
" We'll discuss how to charge
those organizations after the
first year, " Vogel said. " We'll
find a good deal here. "
He said the group has gotten
more than 50 applications so far
from around the world.
" We were hoping for a very
diverse pool of applicants, and
that's exactly what happened, "
he said. " We've got applications
from Cambodia, Thailand, the
Philippines, but also a lot from
Africa and India. "
They've also received applications
from groups doing
river cleanups in Europe, organizations
in the U.S. and South
America and, maybe somewhat
surprisingly, a German rock
band that wants to lower the
environmental footprint of its
concerts.
" They want to make their
events more sustainable and already
sort their plastics waste
at their event, " Vogel said.
Kolesch said AEPW is very curious
what others will want to
do with the technology.
" While we have some ideas of
use cases amongst our project
partners, we realize there's a
lot of ingenuity out there in the
waste management space, " he
BASF SE
Hall 5,
Booth
C21-D21
said. " We're curious to see how
people could make use of this
device to improve their work, to
BASF and the
Alliance to End
Plastic Waste are
giving away 50 of
the scanners, which
take near-infrared
spectroscopy
technology for sorting
and miniaturizes it
down to a device a
little larger than a
mobile phone.
Plastics News photo by
Caroline Seidel
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waste and drive that recycling
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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 25, 2022

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