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A new AI project could change the way we recycle plastic bottles

Photo credit: unilever.com

The Waste Free World project

The co-operation of two of the world's biggest consumer goods firms results in an innovative recycling project. They have created machines that use artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify and sort plastic packaging.

The initiative is called The Waste Free World and it was recently announced as a collaboration between Unilever and the Chinese giant Alibaba. The goal of the project is to unite the packaging technologies of the former with the business operating system of the latter to advance and ensure a highly efficient process of returning plastics back into a closed-loop recycling system.

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A New Super Enzyme Breaks Down Plastic 6 Times Faster!

image: pixabay.com

Scientists from the University of Portsmouth have created a new super enzyme that breaks down plastic bottles. The process is 6 times faster than before.

So far, PET plastic (recycling polyethylene terephthalate), used for the production of single-use drink bottles, carpets, and clothing, has been broken down by the PETase enzyme, engineered by the same team. Now the researchers have added another enzyme, MHETase, to the process and managed to significantly speed it up. Both enzymes were found in a plastic-eating bug discovered in 2016 at a Japanese waste site. 

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