Evergreen to install AI- Enabled sorting robotics in Third recycling Rpet manufacturing Plant


Evergreen to install AI- Enabled sorting robotics in Third recycling Rpet manufacturing Plant

 Evergreen, one of North America’s three largest producers of food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), has just announced that it will be installing artificial intelligence-enabled bottle sorting robotics at its Albany, New York plastics recycling and rPET manufacturing facility. When the installation is completed in mid-2022, Evergreen will have deployed 15 high-speed, highly accurate robotic lines at three of its United States locations.

Supplying the robotics sorting lines to Albany is AMP Robotics Corp., a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) robotics and infrastructure for the waste industry. AMP installed the AI-enabled robotic sorting lines in Evergreen Clyde in April 2021 and Evergreen Riverside in August 2021.

Evergreen President and CEO Omar Abuaita say replacing previously manual sorting processes with high-tech robotics is part of a strategic vision to transform not just his company, but the overall plastics recycling industry. “With demand for recycled PET (rPET) at the highest levels in history, we simply can’t rely on outdated ways of doing business. Evergreen is playing for keeps. Automating our sorting lines allows us to support ever-larger PET recycling streams, provide the millions of pounds of food-grade rPET our customers have committed to purchasing, and achieve a safer, more efficient work environment for our team.”

Last month Abuaita revealed that Evergreen, a portfolio company of private equity firm the Sterling Group, has invested more than $200 million in modernization, capacity expansion, and acquisitions over the last 12 months. The AMP robotics is part of that investment.

Evergreen currently recycles more than 11.6 billion post-consumer PET bottles a year, up from 2 billion in 2021. General Manager Greg Johnson, who is speaking at the Plastics Recycling Conference on Private Equity’s Impact on Recycling, says the AI-enabled sorting lines are an absolute necessity to increase both the speed and accuracy of sorting the monumental volume of bottles Evergreen processes.

“With the use of AI-powered robotics, we can identify and pick more contaminants from the stream, leaving high quality clear and green PET bottles to be recycled. The consistency and reliability of robots have revolutionized our processes. Our goal is to capture all bottles we can use in our food-grade rPET pellet.”

Evergreen’s annual capacity of food-grade rPET is 147 million pounds, up from 40 million pounds just one year ago.

When the company’s expansion at Evergreen Clyde is completed in mid-2022, its annual rPET capacity will swell to 217 million pounds.

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