Optimal identification, sorting and washing of plastic containing waste streams to produce high quality recycled materials

Project: Business Finland project

Project Details


The OPTIWA project aims to increase the recycling rate of plastic/textile waste by developing disruptive novel identification, sorting, and washing technologies. The project will have economic, environmental, and social impact by creating new business and export potential, reducing C02 emissions and fossil oil use, and improving occupational health and safety.

This co-creation project targets to gather a consortium covering the full recycling value chain and to identify the most important needs and research questions of the industry. The consortium will consist of partners collecting plastic/textile waste, partners with sorting and washing technology development, partners with sensor technology or Al/data analysis, partners specializing in mechanical or chemical recycling, or brand owners.

Scientific innovations in the co-innovation project, following the co-creation project, are dependent on industrial need, but are most likely in the fields of material identification through robust detection algorithms based on new sensors, like hyperspectral imaging, data fusion or supervised machine learning methods, assorting waste plastic and textile streams, optimal shredding and the washing process development. The project aims to radically improve the cost-efficiency of the recycling process. The new piloting platform atVTT is designed for the analysis of water usage and quality, use of chemistry, and the washed product purity and allows to develop radical changes to the very much unstudied washing step. After optimized washing the material can be fed to mechanical or chemical recycling. The ultimate target of the coinnovation consortium, built during the co-creation step, is to enable the plastic/textile recycling process development to the globally recognized excellence level. Export will be created both from the technology and from plastic and textile materials and products.
Effective start/end date15/04/2415/10/24