How NIR Black Improves Recycling Efforts

Many Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) rely upon automated systems with near-infrared (NIR) optical sensors to identify the polymer types for sorting recycled materials. Unfortunately, carbon black absorbs in the NIR region. With no energy reflected in the sensor, many carbon black polymers become very difficult to identify. As a result, the packaging material ends up in a landfill rather than a recycling stream.

Colortech NIR Detectable Black concentrates improve the recyclability of black-colored plastics and help manufacturers achieve their overall sustainability goals, and serve as a sustainable alternative to traditional materials containing carbon black. These materials are suitable for various applications, including blown and cast film, sheet extrusion, extrusion coating, profile extrusion, injection molding, and blow molding.

With the use of Colortech NIR Detectable Blacks, manufacturers can ensure items will be identified appropriately and sorted as they move through recycling streams where near-infrared (NIR) detection systems are in place. Having passed the Association of Plastics Recycler’s SNAP Dynamic testing for polyethylene (PE) products, Colortech’s NIR Detectable Black concentrates have proven to optically sort as polyethylene.

Colortech NIR Black Products

Colortech NIR Detectable Black is FDA-compliant in many cases. Nutraceuticals, food packaging, and personal care packaging are examples of NIR Black applications that may not be recycled today. The NIR Detectable Black is one of many recycling solutions Colortech can provide our partners.

The NIR Detectable Black is one of many recycling solutions Colortech can provide to our partners. Contact your Colortech Sales Representative or fill out the form below for more information.



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