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Recycled plastic needs a serious upgrade, and robots are here to help

Why improving the quality of recycled plastic is critical, and how AI could help turn things around

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Despite a widespread commitment to recycling in communities all over the world, the quality of recycled plastic is generally not up to the standards of most manufacturers for reuse — and that’s especially true for food and beverage companies like Keurig Dr Pepper.

The company has pledged to make all of their Keurig K-Cup® pods recyclable by the end of 2020, starting with changing the material used in the container of their K-Cup® pods to polypropylene, a sought-after plastic for recycled materials.

But another recycling challenge Keurig wants to overcome is improving the sorting process at recycling facilities — a key step in ensuring that similar materials are processed together, more efficiently. This results in a higher-quality end product, with more recycled materials available for use, instead of making new plastics.

In this video, we explore how Keurig is working with innovative partners like AMP Robotics to bring artificial intelligence to the sorting process at recycling facilities.

To discover more about Keurig’s recycling initiatives, head to