The transformational technology will support larger PET recycling streams, higher rPET manufacturing volumes across Evergreen.
NATIONAL HARBOUR, Maryland, Ohio (March 7, 2022) – – 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 its 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 says 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 “With demand for recycled PET (rPET) at the highest levels in history, we simply can’t rely on outdated ways of doing business.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 environments 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 month. The AMP robotics are 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’s 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 the robots has revolutionized our process. 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.
Evergreen is exhibiting at the Plastics Recycling Conference, March 7-9, National Harbour, Maryland, Booth #340.
Established in 1998 with a single location in Clyde, Ohio, Evergreen is a recycling company and one of North America’s largest producers of food grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), a recycled resin used as a green alternative to virgin resin in beverage bottles, food containers, health and beauty packaging, home products, and others. In 2021, Evergreen acquired three additional locations in Albany, New York; Amherst, Nova Scotia; and Riverside, California; and deployed AI-enabled robotics to transform its recycling practices. Evergreen is the preferred supplier of rPET to top global brands, helping customers increase recycled content in their packaging, keep plastic out of landfills and oceans, and meet sustainability and ESG goals. Evergreen is a proud member of the American Beverage Association, NAPCOR and the Association of Plastic Recyclers. Visit www.Evergreentogether.com.
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