Last week the industry set 2018 as the deadline for the recycling of all black plastic packaging bottles, pots, tubs and trays. It was agreed by a cross-industry group that included major retailers, packaging manufacturers and trade associations, that a new ‘roadmap' is to be put in place to achieve this goal.
Black plastic packaging contains carbon black pigments which absorb infra-red light and cannot therefore, be optically sorted by equipment using near infra-red (NIR) detection technology. The technical team at Colour Tone responded to this challenge by developing an alternative detectable pigment that enables black plastics to be visible for NIR sorting.
In the numerous materials validation trials that followed, Colour Tone has conclusively proven that this novel pigment will ensure that black trays and tubs can be easily detectable in the mixed plastics waste stream. We therefore welcome this new deadline and believe that it's now time to move this debate beyond black plastics to consider the wider waste stream itself.