Ampacet, a provider of additive masterbatches for flexible packaging and rigid packaging, has developed carbon black-free masterbatch solutions for near-infrared (NIR) sorting applications.
Developed as part of sustainable development program, the new masterbatch solutions will help decrease carbon footprint by offering a second life for black plastic packaging.
The black masterbatch solutions are NIR transparent, which will allow sorting with near-infrared optical sensors and recycling.
The technology allows the reuse, repair and recycling of black packaging waste, as well as helps recyclers to valorize the waste and support the circular economy.
Europe is undergoing transition from linear to circular economy, and the European Commission launched Circular Economy Package to reduce waste and recycling.
The reuse, repair and recycling turned as the norm in a circular economy, while the waste has become as a thing of the past.
Plastic waste will pre-sorted by resin type at plastic recovery facilities for recycling plastic packaging into useable resins.
NIR optical sorters with automated sorting technologies are used at most of the recovery facilities for pre-sorting of each resin type, resulting in a pure stream of resin.
Main problem with NIR optical sorting is its inefficiency to detect and separate plastics that contain carbon black, which is the commonly used black pigment.
Carbon black is said to absorb significant part of the ultraviolet and infrared spectrum, enabling to avoid the reflection of infrared light back to the sensor and block the recognition of the resin’s fingerprint by a NIR scan.
Packaging with Ampacet’s carbon black-free masterbatch products can be scanned by NIR technology for automated sorting at recovery facilities.
In August 2017, Ampacet opened new masterbatch production facility in Dandenong, Australia, to extend its footprint in the region.
The new facility manufactures custom colors and additives that are used by the food, shipping, industrial and retail industries for inducing color, texture, metallic look, paper effects and functionality to flexible packaging.
Ampacet designs custom color, special effect, black, white, and specialty additive masterbatches for flexible and rigid extrusion processes and applications.