For the first time it will be possible for recyclers to sort black crystalline polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) food packs in mixed plastic waste streams, thanks to a novel development from a Danish packaging manufacturer.
Færch Plast has developed black CPET that can be detected by near infrared (NIR) light technology, which it claims will revolutionise the plastics packaging and recycling industries. The company developed the new black CPET in conjunction with stakeholders, which included the Waste & Resources Action Programme, consultancy Nextek, NIR scanner manufacturer Titech, food testing specialist Eurofins and a couple of up-market retailers.
Jesper Emil Jensen, senior manager at Færch Plast, says: "Faerch Plast continually conducts research into the raw materials it uses and during the past 12 months the business has been heavily involved in a project aimed at making black trays more recyclable.
"Until now, recycling of black CPET has not been possible as it can't be detected by the NIR sensors used by most recyclers. It has been a complicated project because the current pigment is both good at what it does and is also the cheapest form of black available on the market."
However, after extensive testing and trials using different dyes and pigments Færch Plast has now developed what it claims is the world's first recyclable material that is cost effective and functional.
Faerch Plast uses approximately 99% of its raw materials directly in the manufacturing process with the rest sent for recycling or energy recovery.
It recently opened a manufacturing facility in Durham. A large part of its production for the UK market is being moved to the this plant.
Contact: Faerch Plast