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CREDIT: Mandy Barker - Birds Nest Soup

Plastic recycling

the role of cameras

The Altered Oceans exhibition showed the effect of plastic waste pollution on our oceans. There is a growing clamour and imperative to increase our current plastic recycling rates.

I am out in California at the Electronic Imaging symposium and sat in on a presentation that had some stark statistics and perhaps part of the solution. At present 79% of plastic is discarded. To meet recycling commitments by 2025 we need to increase recycling rates 3.5 times.

One issue here is sorting plastic by type and it is here that camera systems can help further. There is a proposal to emboss barcodes onto plastic and read them with high speed near infrared cameras. If we are to move towards a circular economy photographic techniques may help us along the way.

An industry consortium is undertaking a project called HolyGrail 2.0 to address this. I wish them well and then the Mandy Barker pictures will just be part of our industrial history.