Vuzix Blog

Future Friday: Could Smart Glasses Make Us Better Recyclers?

07-February-2020

Global recycling stuck in a landfill 

Recycling’s difficult. There’s no sugar coating this reality. Knowing which of six(!) bins to place your to-go container presents a challenge for urbanites.

READ: How quickly will Gen Z take to smart glasses?

Granted, many businesses, recycling depots and property management companies post detailed infographics to ease the process.

However, they don’t seem to work. According to a recent study, over 90% of plastic isn’t recycled. Meanwhile, nearly 80% of all recycled materials aren’t actually turned into usable items.


Innovators are already experimenting with augmented recycling software. Credit: ChrisD

The challenge facing global recycling schemes

There are many reasons for this. Most notably, the recycling process takes time - and isn’t cheap. Elite curbside recycling programs cost between $50-$150 per ton.

The need to sort through recycled materials is a gargantuan effort. Whether it’s automated or done by hand, the process isn’t entirely sustainable.

As a result, there’s an incentive to improve recycling strategies. A great place to start is making it easier on consumers to place materials in their appropriate bin.


Globally, most recycled items end up in landfills. Credit: Real Simple

Smart glasses, smarter societies

As always, technology offers a solution. Smart glasses could turn the process into a game. The lenses could scan the bins in front of you - along with the item in your hand.

It could then tell you which bin to place the item.

Who’s up for a game of Recyclathon? Whoever recycles the most items in 5 minutes wins!

Smart glasses could gamify the recycling process. At the same time, they could improve global sustainability programs.

Do you think smart glasses and augmented reality could help create a more sustainable future?


A Disclaimer Note from the Author: On Fridays we often let our imagination run wild at Vuzix. With our ‘Future Friday’ segment, we explore the endless possibilities offered by smart glasses. We encourage you to provide your feedback as your input will help us make these dreams a reality.

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