Ampacet introduces extension to its detectable black masterbatch range

polymer & packaging news agency -

Ampacet has introduced an extension to its detectable line of black masterbatches that are near-infrared (NIR) transparent to allow sorting with NIR optical sensors and recycling.  

New ‘REC-NIR-BLACK High Alcohol’ is the company’s latest addition to its ‘REC-NIR-BLACK’ range and is suitable for monolayer PET bottles and containers used in high alcohol applications, including wine and spirits, hand sanitizers, household cleaners, personal care and OTC pharmaceutical products. 

“These detectable products are part of Ampacet’s sustainable development programme, which features new and innovative solutions that help to protect the environment,” explained Doreen Becker, Sustainability Director.

“Our REC-NIR-BLACK masterbatch line significantly reduces the carbon footprint by providing a second life for black plastic packaging.”

Limitations of black

The key limitation to NIR sorting is its inability to identify and separate plastics that contain carbon black, the most commonly used black pigment.

Conventional black colorants absorb a significant part of the ultraviolet and infrared spectrum, preventing the reflection of infrared light back to the sensor and consequently blocking the recognition of the resin’s fingerprint by a NIR scan.

Most black packaging cannot be sorted by recycling companies and can only be disposed of in a landfill or used for energy recovery.  Packaging using Ampacet’s detectable masterbatch products can be scanned by NIR technology for automated sorting at recovery facilities.

This technology enables the reuse, repair and recycling of black packaging waste and allows recyclers to obtain value from this waste and support the circular economy.

Last week, recycling charity, RECOUP, released figures showing the fall in the overall use of black plastic packaging in the UK. RECOUP argues that all black plastic packaging on the market should be fully recyclable in commercial processing facilities by 2025.


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