Denmark-based Færch Plast A/S has developed a black CPET (crystalline polyethylene) material that can reportedly be detected by Near InfraRed (NIR) sensors. This significant move will enable recyclers to sort black CPET in the mixed plastics waste stream for the first time.
Faerch Plast, manufacturers of high performance plastic packaging for the food industry, developed the new black CPET in conjunction with stakeholders WRAP, Nextek, Titech, Eurofins and leading UK supermarket retailers.
Jesper Emil Jensen, Senior Manager at Færch Plast A/S commented: “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, I am delighted to report that after considerable testing and trials using different dyes and pigments we now have a ‘world first’ recyclable solution that is cost effective, aesthetically pleasing and functional,” Jesper concluded.
Færch Plast A/S recently opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the North East of England. A large part of its production for the UK market is being moved to the new Durham-based plant as part of an on-going strategy to secure costs, improve efficiencies and minimise its environmental impact.