Europe is in the transition phase from a linear economy to a circular economy. In its Circular Economy Package, the European Commission has set both ambitious and clear targets for reducing plastic waste and recycling plastics. In the circular economy, repair, reuse and recycling should be the norm, and waste should be eliminated wherever possible.
The key to recycling plastics from household waste is sorting. The different types of plastic, which for packaging are mostly PP, HDPE, PS and PET, must be separated from each other before they can be reintroduced into the material flow. This is because high-quality recycling material with good properties can only be obtained from single-variety material streams. In recycling plants, the different types of plastics are usually optically distinguished and separated from each other by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR spectroscopy). However, this method may fail with black plastics that have been colored with carbon black pigments. The carbon contained in the pigment absorbs most of the infrared radiation, so that the actual plastic can no longer be detected, let alone distinguished, by the NIR sorting machine. This makes NIR sorting considerably more difficult.
To make black plastic products recyclable as well, we at Finke have developed the FIBAPLAST NIR detectable Black Masterbatches. They can be used for coloring all common packaging plastics, such as HDPE, PP, PS and PET. With this development, we are closing the gap that has so far hampered the integration of black plastics into the circular economy.
The formulation of our FIBAPLAST NIR detectable Black Masterbatches does not contain carbon black pigments. This allows dyed black plastics to be easily detected in NIR sorting systems. Black bottles, lids or trays made of HDPE , PP, PS or PET can be easily separated from each other using standard sorting technology, just as with all other colors. This has been proven by tests carried out in cooperation with leading sorting plant manufacturers.
In October 2020, we received COTREP certification for our FIBAPLAST NIR detectable black masterbatches for rigid PE and PP packaging. COTREP (Comité Technique pour la Recyclage des Emballages Plastiques) has confirmed that products colored with the FIBAPLAST NIR detectable Black Masterbatches can be sorted visually well by NIR technology in common sorting systems for household packaging. Up to a concentration of 5% masterbatch in the product, the packaging is reliably detected and can be fed into the respective recycling stream.
In our technical center, we can match the FIBAPLAST NIR detectable black masterbatches exactly to your application within a very short time. Our experienced team will be happy to help you bring your sustainable and environmentally friendly products to market quickly. Contact us!