Today we will talk about ECOPACK, the optical sorter capable of detecting gloves and masks. The measures to fight the pandemic and mitigate its effects have triggered the consumption and disposal of products such as gloves and masks. This products, in the best of cases end up in yellow or grey containers. From there, they reach the waste management facilities, where they must be selected and classified.
As for the gloves, they can be made of different materials. The most widely used in the current situation is nitrile, a synthetic rubber latex obtained from the Acrylonitrile Butadiene (NBR) copolymer. It is the main substitute for natural latex since its properties are very similar. But without the disadvantages of allergies risks that latex presents, and it is detected without problems. The rest of gloves are normally made of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), commonly classified by optical separation equipment.
On the other hand, the masks are made from PP (Polypropylene), a material that is common and easily detectable in the classification process.
Some alarming information related to the use of these products is not based on the huge quantity, but on what happens next, having detected malpractice in its disposal or treatment as waste. The reality is that, in waste management facilities, these products can be classified, the important thing is that they are deposited in the indicated containers.
This is corroborated by PICVISA, which configures the optics in these two conditions to classify the maximum quantity possible of these flow materials, with average recoveries above 90%.