Finnish company develops device to sort black plastic

Specim introduces infrared camera to identify black plastics for recycling.


Oulu, Finland-based Specim says it has developed an infrared camera that is able to identify black plastic for recycling purposes.

An online news item on the Finland-based YLE website quotes Esko Herrala, Specim’s founder, as saying that black ABS [acrylonitrile butadiene styrene] plastic “accounts for about half of all plastic materials, [and] it is actually very recyclable.”

According to Specim, many near infrared (NIR) sensors at recycling plants are unable to detect the black pigment, so black plastics can go unrecycled.

On its website, Specim says of its new FX50 device that its camera “sees the invisible,” and can identify different plastic types “quickly and reliably despite the color.” Adds the company, “This means that the valuable materials can now be harvested and reused, even from black plastics.”

The company is displaying its technology April 10-11 at the PRS Europe exhibition in Amsterdam and May 7-9 at Waste Expo 2019 in Las Vegas, at Booth No. 5110.