Plastic Scanner

Developing a device that can Identify the most common types of plastic

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Hi all✌️

We are working on the Plastic Scanner project, a device that can identify the most common types of plastic, making plastic recycling simpler!
Around the world, there there is a lot of plastic, and I think we all agree that we should try and limit the amount of plastic we use, find new ways to reuse plastic, and recycle more plastic.
In many places around the world, plastic is sorted by hand, the sorter needs to find the little triangle on the product (RIS code) or needs to make an assumption about the type of plastic. Factories in west Europe use Infrared light to identify types of plastic, sadly these machines are complex and expensive, and inaccessible to recyclers in low and middle income countries.
what the project aims to solve
Our goal is to make this technology accessible, cheaper, and fully open source!
Read more of our plan here:
GPL 3.0 License

This project is still very much in the prototyping stage, we are looking for people who can help out, mostly hands-on in Delft NL, but in the coming months, there will also be tasks/subprojects that can be done with remote help, for that we are now building infrastructure.

But feel free to read the Docs, and our GitHub, and join our Discord server if you want to become a developer!

  • July update!

    Jerzeek08/01/2022 at 12:55 0 comments

    Hi Plastic Scanner friends,
    This month has been all about holidays! So traveling, exploring, and relaxing.

    But I did make something small for you:
    An interview with Dave Hakkens (the guy who started Precious Plastic)
    about open source!

    I hope you like it and I am looking forward to working on the Plastic Scanner again!
    Greetz, Jerry✌️

  • June update!

    Jerzeek07/05/2022 at 18:54 0 comments

    Hi Plastic Scanner friends,

    This month, our group of students presented the "Plastic Scanner 2.0" - a concept and a prototype for the future, commercial version of the scanner. They were researching, testing and prototyping for the last 5 months, which proved to be well worth it since the final presentation left us speechless. Results from their work will be revealed in the coming months, but for now we can say it's been a great experience and that we learned a lot from each other!

    Besides that, Jerry put a lot of effort into networking, finances and community in order to secure the future of the project and make it truly sustainable. Jure and Markus (from the student group) were debugging the firmware for the new prototype and went through an emotional rollercoaster of frustration, confusion and excitement. Just another day at the office :)

    Finally, we got to meet Joost, a guy from delft who contributed to the PSplot Software and gave useful advice for further development of the Plastic Scanner. It feels great to meet some of the Discord participants in real life!

    We are all off to our summer vacation now, recharging for more Plastic Scanner adventures next month. Have a nice summer too!

  • May update!

    Jerzeek06/03/2022 at 10:02 0 comments


    It’s time for another Plastic Scanner update, a project where we build a device for identifying the most common types of plastic, making sorting and recycling simpler!

    In May we did some work on the documentation infrastructure and the workflow around it, separating the staging and production versions of the site. Besides that, we made a small utility for interacting with the scanner and visualizing its output, called PSplot. It’s still early in development but it might be useful for you, despite some rough corners. Feel free to hack and help improve it – it’s all on our GitHub page!

    The PSplot software

    There is a group of Industrial Design Engineering students from TU Delft and they are doing a great job of studying and improving the Plastic Scanner. Besides the use case studies, market research, and design possibilities, they designed a custom version of the plastic scanner (with a different form factor, ESP32 development board, and custom PCB). We’re excited to assemble it and see it in action!

    Finally, we opened a Discord server dedicated to hackers, makers, and everyone interested in developing. We are looking for people in the following fields:

    • optics (NIR spectroscopy, LEDs, photodiodes, etc.)
    • electronics (PCB, component sourcing, circuit design)
    • firmware (driver development, debugging, feedback on architecture and implementation)
    • software (developing utilities for 1. visualizing and 2. analyzing the data. the First point is GUI python software development, PyQt framework. the second point is more data analysis, machine-learning oriented.)

    While these are our focus points at the moment, all kinds of talents and enthusiasts are welcome! Join us in making the world more green and open source 🙂

    Greetz, Jure

  • April update!

    Jerzeek05/29/2022 at 14:55 0 comments

  • March Update!

    Jerzeek05/29/2022 at 14:54 0 comments

  • February update!

    Jerzeek05/29/2022 at 14:54 0 comments

  • January Update!

    Jerzeek05/29/2022 at 14:53 0 comments

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Enjoy this project?



madmedix wrote 06/29/2022 at 04:53 point

This.  is.  marvellous !!

Can't wait to fab it myself.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Tom Nardi wrote 06/07/2022 at 03:55 point

Love this project, glad to see it in this year's Hackaday Prize.

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