In a move set to revolutionise the plastics packaging and recycling industries, Denmark-based Færch Plast A/S has developed a black CPET (crystalline polyethylene) material that can be detected by Near InfraRed (NIR) sensors. This will enable recyclers to sort black CPET in the mixed plastics waste stream for the first time.

One of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-performance plastic packaging for the food industry, Faerch Plast developed the new black CPET in conjunction with stakeholders WRAP, Nextek, Titech, Eurofins and leading UK supermarket retailers.

Jesper Emil Jensen, Senior Manager at Færch Plast A/S comments: “Until now, recycling of black CPET has not been possible as it can’t be detected by the NIR sensors used by most recyclers. However, after considerable testing and trials using different dyes and pigments we now have a ‘World First’ recyclable solution that is cost effective, aesthetically pleasing and functional.”

Since it was established in 1969, Færch Plast has built an unrivalled reputation for high-quality plastics packaging products, supplying major blue-chip customers in the ready meal, fresh meat, cold foods and snacks, and ambient food sectors.

From 1997, it has implemented a number of major environmental and energy projects, which together have resulted in energy savings of 21 million kWh a year, corresponding to the annual electricity consumption of 4,700 households. In summary, Færch Plast has cut its energy consumption by a third and reduced the amount of plastic waste it produces by 75%.