Danish Firm Develops Sortable Black Plastic Product

Færch Plast A/S' black CPET can be detected by near infrared light technology.

November 19, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Equipment & Products Legislation & Regulations Plastics

Færch Plast A/S, a Danish packaging firm, claims it has developed a black crystalline polyethylene (CPET) material that can be detected by near infrared (NIR) sensors. According to the company, the product will allow recyclers to sort black CPET in the mixed plastics waste stream.

Faerch Plast, a manufacturer of high-performance plastic packaging for the food industry, developed the black CPET in conjunction with a number of stakeholders: the U.K.-based nonprofit WRAP, plastics consulting firm Nextek, equipment company Titech, U.K. testing firm Eurofins and several U.K. supermarkets.

In a release, Jesper Emil Jensen, senior manager at Færch Plast A/S, 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."

Jesper continues, “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.”