Most plastics are recyclable, but very few are actually recycled. Only about 6% of them, to be exact. That's pretty abysmal! And it's all because it's difficult to sort through the various types of plastic in order to recycle them. Robots to the rescue!
A new robot designed by Mitsubishi and Osaka University uses lasers to quickly sort through the various types of plastics. It's got five different lasers that can determine the reflectivity index of each piece of plastic, sorting it depending on its composition. Hopefully these $55,000 machines will start being used in the near future to raise that 6% figure to something a bit more acceptable.