on Thu Apr 27 2023
Metaspectral, has secured $419,000 from the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund, building on the previous $300,000 that the company received from the initial launch of the Fund in 2021.
Metaspectral’s technology makes it possible for recycling facilities to sort previously indistinguishable materials at the polymer level in real time using computer vision and integrated robotics. This means that large quantities of plastic can be sorted and recycled more efficiently and accurately. It is already being used by the largest recycling company in Canada and has also attracted significant international interest.
British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy dedicated $10 million to the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund in 2022 for projects to reduce plastic pollution, following an initial $5 million investment in the initiative in 2021.
“Our technology uses deep learning to analyze hyperspectral imagery from specialized cameras placed over a conveyor belt carrying recyclables; the images captured contain information from across the electromagnetic spectrum, making it possible for our algorithms to identify materials immediately and sort them accordingly,” said Migel Tissera, CTO and co-founder of Metaspectral.
This financing will support the continued development of the technology, with an emphasis on differentiating homopolymer high-density polyethylene (HDPE), often found in milk containers, from copolymer HDPE, typically found in containers used to store automotive oil and detergents.
In 2022, milk containers were added to British Columbia’s deposit-refund system, which adds up to 40 million additional containers to the province’s recycling system annually.
“It has historically been impossible for humans or traditional cameras to differentiate between plastics at this level, meaning that to date, various types of plastics have been recycled in bulk together,” said Francis Doumet, CEO and co-founder of Metaspectral. “When post-consumer recycled plastic cannot have its purity guaranteed, its quality and market value decrease significantly.”