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Electro-optical method of distinguishing recyclable plastics

Ee Yee, Lim Christina


Lim Christina Ee Yee


S. K. (Stephanie K.) Haywood

Igor Itskevich


The UK produces 3 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, of which 85% is landfilled, 8% is incinerated and only 7% recycled. Recycling just one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a 60W light bulb for six hours. Our local East Riding of Yorkshire Council is trying to reduce the amount of waste by recycling different types of waste. However, not all plastics can be recycled by the council currently. The aim of this project is to develop a device that can distinguish between the different types of plastic which can be and cannot be recycled with the help of an infrared spectrometer. Different types of plastics (e.g., PVC, PET, HDPE) have different forms of spectra. Materials can be identified by comparing their spectra to reference spectra. The aim here is to make a cheap and simple device to do this in the home. This could be in a form of a box containing an infrared source that will illuminate the plastic to be tested, perhaps through a set of filters of plastics that can be recycled. If the light passes through both filter and plastic under test onto a detector this will collect the radiation and pass a signal to an electronic circuit to indicate its suitability for recycling.


Ee Yee, L. C. (2010). Electro-optical method of distinguishing recyclable plastics. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 28, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Engineering
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Engineering, The University of Hull
Award Date Sep 1, 2010


Thesis (3.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2010 Ee Yee, Lim Christina. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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