Denmark – Denmark-based packaging developer Faerch Plast has created a new type of black crystalline polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) that can be detected by infrared sensors in recycling streams, an innovation that will enable recyclers to separate it from mixed plastics waste for the first time.
Faerch says the unique pigment composition of the new material will enable optical scanning equipment to recognise it, a bigger issue for CPET than for most other plastics. ‘When the plastic is black, light can’t shine through it, meaning it can’t be detected by the cameras,’ Faerch UK’s Managing Director, Joe Iannidinardo, has told European Plastics News.
Contending that the improved CPET ‘brings the idea of a closed loop system closer and closer’, Mr Iannidinardo stated that the aim of the project was to have the material ‘come come back to use as flakes, perhaps even three or four times’.
Faerch developed the plastic, designed primarily for the food industry, at its research and development centre in Denmark. Tests are under way to determine whether the material can be mass manufactured as food trays in the UK market, after which the company aims to devise a process that will be ‘cost neutral’ compared with rival materials.
For more information, visit: www.faerchplast.com
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