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The Recycling Gadget that Could Revolutionize the World

Credit: Cohda Design

Ever have an item in your hand and wonder if it should be considered trash or recyclable?

Many times, as a result of indecision, we just chuck something into the trash and end up getting rid of something that could have done a lot of good in helping the environment. Many recycling companies also have to dedicate a tremendous amount of time trying to remove recycled items from landfills. This can be extremely costly, both financially and time-wise. But now, that can all change.

A tech company in the UK, Cohda Design, is testing out a new gadget called R.I.D. (Recycling Identification Device) that uses near-infrared spectrometry technology that sends an invisible light into an object. Because different materials absorb different wavelengths of light, this could make it very possible to identify materials that make up an object. As a result of this digital fingertip, objects that could potentially be recycled could be identified.

This gadget would light up or buzz if it was pointed at a plastic container. This would be something that people would be able to use right before making the decision to trash or recycle a product. People could also scan through their trash bags if they wanted to double-check before tossing into the garbage can.

The question is, how necessary is this new gadget? An estimated 6.3 billion tons of the 8.3 billion tons of plastics that humans have produced were not recycled. That is a lot of plastic that’s going to sit in a landfill for hundreds of years, endangering the environment around it.

The R.I.D. is still a work in progress, but the company hopes to get the government involved in eventually getting it out to the masses. Once fully tested and verified, this could be used around the globe and to open peoples’ eyes to the importance of recycling.