March 12, 2024



How Ecoibéria saves on the price of PET with Safi AI

To overcome the harsh market conditions of 2023, Ecoibéria partnered with Safi and its cutting-edge AI technology to design a transformative solution to help revolutionise Ecoibéria’s operations.

Extraordinary results 

  • 99% of first time deals using Safi AI’s matching algorithm have no quality claims.
  • Safi AI validates every bale against Ecoibéria's standards, saving on the price of PET yielded.
  • Safi AI has prevented 307 substandard, poor quality bales from being loaded for shipment for Ecoibéria this year alone. 
  • AI-generated load reports post-loading ensured transparency and adherence to Ecoibéria quality standards.

Introducing Ecoibéria: Portugal’s leading PET reprocessor

Ecoibéria, a PET reprocessor based in Northern Portugal, is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste by reprocessing used PET products into recycled PET that matches the quality of virgin materials. PET recycling not only conserves energy and resources but also supports shifting consumption patterns by providing exceptional eco-friendly alternatives.

Operating from a state-of-the-art facility with an annual processing capacity of 47,500 tonnes, Ecoibéria reprocesses clear and coloured food-grade PET bottles. Using high-temperature and gas flow decontamination, the company transforms used beverage bottles into food-grade pellets, ready to be remade into new products.

Recycling process at the factory | Image credit: Ecoibéria

The Challenge: Sourcing high quality material

In order to offer the highest quality recycled PET, Ecoibéria requires consistent high-quality infeed material. However, there are a number of challenges for sourcing high quality material:

Inconsistent supply volume

2023 saw large fluctuations in supply volumes, and Ecoibéria needed a strategic solution to maintain a steady flow of high-quality materials.

Subjective quality control

The industry has no clearly agreed method to objectively analyse the quality of incoming material. 

Difficult to vet seller quality

Quality from a single supplier can vary hugely. Ecoibéria needed a clearer process to assess and select the best partners in the market to maintain their competitive edge.

Lack of precise, trackable data

Without quality data Ecoibéria cannot track their sellers’ consistency over time nor optimise their infeed mix.

These challenges highlighted Ecoibéria’s critical need for an innovative solution that would streamline their material sourcing and optimise their operational efficiency so that they could continue to produce premium recycled PET products.

Safi’s Solution: Bespoke AI Analysis with a Human Touch

In order to set Ecoibéria up for success, the Safi team took Ecoibéria through a bespoke three-part onboarding process to integrate the AI technology into the workflow.

1. Understanding Ecoibéria’s specifications

Similarly to how a ‘dating app’ learns a user's preferences, Safi AI learns about Ecoibéria’s PET specifications to better match material requests with the sellers, creating a bespoke experience of material sourcing. 

2. Training the AI model for Ecoibéria

By identifying objects and finding a match for each object in Safi’s database, Safi AI can quickly analyse any bale worldwide and make an instant decision on whether the material quality sits within Ecoibéria’s specifications.

3. Setting up the Matching Algorithm

Safi's Matching Algorithm identifies suitable sellers for Ecoibéria, prioritising the best ratio between price and predicted yield for their specifications. 

By having an objective measure of quality, Safi AI ensures quality always meets expectations. At the same time, account managers at Safi have access to a global pool of quality data, and with the help of Safi AI, they always find the best match for our buyers and sellers. And finally, before shipment, Safi AI is used to inspect every bale, ensuring only the bales that meet the quality requirements are loaded for shipment, impacting the entire operational process from start to finish. 

"Working with Safi has been a game-changer for us. Safi AI streamlined our material selection process and brought an unparalleled level of precision and efficiency. Predicting the quality of PET bales and identifying the best suppliers has significantly alleviated our operational challenges. Now, we rely on Safi to meet our volume needs. Moreover, Safi provides complete transparency regarding the quality of the material we receive." - Claudia Gomes, Financial Director 

A profound impact on Ecoibéria

Now, with Safi AI, Ecoibéria has confidence that each delivered bale has been approved for their material specifications, creating three profound impacts on Ecoibéria’s business operations: 

1. Access to more cost effective materials

By streamlining the material sourcing and quality control process, Safi AI contributes to greater efficiency, ultimately leading to saving substantial operational costs.

2. Enhanced Sustainability

Safi AI plays a pivotal role in bolstering Ecoibéria's commitment to sustainability. The precision in material selection resulted in an optimised yield of PET bottles, which has an added benefit of improving resource utilisation.

3. Strengthened Market Position

The integration of Safi AI ensures a more reliable and efficient supply chain, enhancing Ecoibéria's competitiveness and enabling them to access markets that would not have otherwise been available to them.

By implementing Safi AI in the sourcing process, Ecoibéria has saved a large amount of costs on the price of PET yielded, enhanced their commitment to sustainability, and strengthened their role as a leader in PET reprocessing, further establishing the company as a go-to choice in the industry.


“We’ve seen a marked improvement in our material yield and quality, which has positively impacted our bottom line. Safi's solution isn’t just innovative; it’s revolutionising the way we approach our business. We are now more confident in our supply chain, thanks to the reliability and insights provided by Safi's advanced AI technology."  - Vitor Guerreiro, Quality Control Manager

100% Recycled PET | Image credit: Ecoibéria

Safi AI has subtly yet profoundly redefined Ecoibéria's approach to PET bottle reprocessing. By integrating this advanced solution, Ecoibéria has not only enhanced the efficiency and precision of its material selection process but also navigated the complexities of the market with newfound confidence. The case of Ecoibéria vividly illustrates the way in which AI, if used correctly, can powerfully impact your operation.

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