New black colorants support circular economy, turn former waste into recyclable packaging

12-Jul-19

A new portfolio of infrared- detectable black colorants for plastic packaging, which will allow formerly unrecyclable black waste plastic to be properly sorted at recycling facilities has been unveiled by Polyone. These colorants will help black packaging support the circular economy by enabling them to be recycled rather than landfilled. OnColor™ Infrared Sortable Black for Recyclable Packaging contain no carbon black pigment, permitting the automatic optical sorting sensors used in many waste management plants to detect black polymers and sort waste into the correct recycling streams. Detection and sorting of carbon black-filled plastic waste in material recovery facilities is a vexing issue for the packaging and recycling industries, because the equipment relies on the reflectance of near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Carbon black makes it impossible for the equipment to identify the waste, which must then be sent to landfill or incineration.
PolyOne's new black colorants address this issue by eliminating carbon black and enabling black plastics to be sensed, sorted, and recycled efficiently. They can also help brand owners to retain current black packaging that was deemed unrecyclable. OnColor™ Infrared Sortable Blacks for Recyclable Packaging is available in both liquid and solid form in a range of eight black shades as well as custom colors.

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