The spectroscopic imaging system works by comparing colours and textures with a predefined database. It can recognize matching or unwanted colours and sort materials accordingly. Unlike colour cameras, the imaging system can be used in conjunction with existing black-and-white visual sorting systems. This is because spectroscopic imaging does not replace an existing monochrome system, but adds a complementary analysis. Since it can deliver better colour recognition and resolution than a colour camera, spectroscopic imaging could provide a faster, more accurate solution to the problem of sorting and grading industrial materials. The building and plastics industries could both benefit from a visual sorting system that is quicker and more accurate. The principles of the technology can also be transferred to other industries requiring high-resolution sorting techniques. The fact that the new system can integrate with existing hardware and software ensures good cost-effectiveness.