Plastic Identification Anywhere - Update IV

In the previous post, you could read that I was well on my way to making an actual handheld plastic scanner. But the more I started to talk with potential users, designers, and others around me, the more I found that THE universal plastic scanner does not exist.

Plastic pollution is a widespread problem. The context in which plastic is recycled around the world is also just as widespread. A single product that would fit in any context is therefore unrealistic. Therefore I decided to develop a product that can be adjusted to the context. So not a plastic scanner as a solution, but a framework to enable anyone to identify plastic.

the most important aspect of this framework is sharing the information open-source, online, for free. It is one of the most sustainable things a person can do, share knowledge. So, what is in this framework?

Firstly, at its core, there is the breakout board. A PCB with all the components to send and measure IR light. On itself, this PCB can only spit out measurement values. This actually makes it super cool, because you are flexible in how you apply this sensor and what you do with the processing!

Secondly, to give you a head start, I developed a handheld scanner as an example of a portable plastic scanner. Inside there is the breakout board, a raspberry pi zero, and a screen, button, and battery. This might not fit your exact recycling context, but it inspires you what it can do and how it can be adapted to your context.

Over time more content will be added to this framework, this can be things like a kit, software examples, or improved documentation. It is up to you, me, and others around the world to improve this project and make it possible to do plastic identification anywhere!


Now that everything is open-source online you can actually dig in and find out more about the project:

Visit to get more general information, and visit for all the technical details!

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