2022 Winner: AMP Robotics


How AI and producer collaboration are influencing recovery and driving increased recycling rates

What it is: In partnership with Sonoco, a global packaging provider, AMP Robotics created a new material category within its neural network specific to rigid paperboard cans—items like Pringles cans and coffee, nut, and snack containers. The partnership drives increased recycling rates for spiral-wound paper canisters with steel and paper bottoms produced by Sonoco and other manufacturers. In addition to being a manufacturer, Sonoco is a recycler, operating more than 40 recycling facilities globally. The company has deployed an AMP Cortex™ intelligent robotics system in one of its facilities, with a second planned in another; this recycling relationship enables Sonoco to directly test and leverage AMP’s technology.

Why it matters: AMP is working with companies across the spectrum of recyclable materials to adapt its AI platform to the specificity of a manufacturer or brand and disperse the sorting capability to materials recovery facilities (MRFs) with its robotic sorting systems. Any MRF with an AMP Cortex system can now accurately and efficiently sort Sonoco’s paper can to the desired stream. This enables manufacturers to directly influence what’s recoverable and take advantage of the ability to capture more of their specific packaging.