$3.5M To Sort Trash — With AI

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Understanding what we throw away allows us to better implement reuse & recycle programs. (Image: Greyparrot)

Greyparrot, a startup that automates waste composition analysis using AI-powered computer vision software, announced additional funding of $1.1M, bringing their total seed round to $3.5M. Greyparrot’s system provides waste analytics and new insights previously unavailable to waste managers, producers and regulators.

Why does this matter?

  • In 2017, the US alone produced over 35M tons of plastic. However, with recycling programs in place, only 8.4% of plastics were recycled. On top of that, only about half of America’s exported plastic waste is still being accepted by foreign markets.
  • Most plastic is not possible to recycle. Plastic waste is mismanaged and can end up in the environment, getting incinerated, or being sent to landfill.
  • Plastic still has value after being used, and should be recovered to get the most value out of limited resources.

What’s next?

  • There is growing demand from consumers, brands, governments, and waste managers to transition to a more circular economy, specifically waste pickup, landfill diversion, and material sales.
  • We will likely see an increase in recycling programs, which may include government subsidies and/or incentives. On this front, it will be a combination of policy and partnership for collaboration.
  • There will be a packaging revolution — re-usable packaging, like Haagen Dazs partnering with Loop, and eco-friendly packaging, like Diageo’s recent announcement to try out a plastic-free bottle.
  • There will be opportunity to optimize waste management with digitization and automation with both new and current recycling programs.

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