Caerphilly-based Colour Tone Masterbatch has launched a new, patent pending range of sortable colourants which it believes will help the recovery of plastics previously undetectable by recyclers.
Such plastics include rigid black plastic packaging, plastic components in end-of-life vehicles and electrical and electronic waste.
Irdent is a Waste & Resources Action Programme-tested, collection of detectable pigments. Currently, a large amount of potentially recyclable items cannot be identified by infrared systems as they contain colour pigments that are very good infra-red absorbers and are therefore undetectable.
Colour Tone believes its Irdent range can increase the recovery of high quality materials, diverting them away from landfill.
The firm suggested there may be approximately one million tonnes of rigid mixed plastic packaging in the UK waste stream.
Of this amount between 3-6% is considered to be black plastic packaging. In terms of tonnage, this is in the region of 26,000 - 30,000 tonnes per annum and some studies have indicated that this figure could be as high as 60,000 tonnes of black rigid plastic packaging.
Colour Tone Masterbatch managing director Tony Gaukroger, said: “We are particularly excited at the opportunities this range presents for automotive and electrical product applications.
“This new generation of pigments now makes the concept of ‘designing for end-of-life' a reality and a vital part of planning for the adherence to end of life legislation.”