NIR optical sorting good practice guidelines

Identification of near infrafred (NIR) optical sorting good practice guidelines and report.

NIR optical sorting


WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme).


  • Studies have shown that standards of quality and yield achieved by NIR optical sorting facilities such as Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) vary enormously across Europe
  • There was therefore a need to study and share examples of good practice in order to improve recovery rates and quality of materials from NIR sorting facilities.

Axion solution:

  • Identified suitable operating sites that use NIR technology for detailed study
  • Collected and analysed production data held by the sites
  • Conducted performance testing trials at six sites across Europe
  • Assessed key factors that contributed to success of sites achieving good NIR sorting performance
  • Determined what constitutes good practice and wrote guidance documents for existing and potential recyclers of household plastic packaging waste


  • A detailed report outlining NIR optical sorting best practice guidelines