Ampacet Receives COTREP Technical Notice for New Generation NIR-Sortable REC-NIR-Black Solutions

Ampacet, a global masterbatch leader, has obtained COTREP technical notice for its new generation NIR-sortable masterbatch solutions.

REC-NIR-BlackTM 135, in particular, has received COTREP technical notice for meeting new and more stringent PET protocols.

COTREP, a technical committee for recycling plastic packaging in France founded by Citeo, Elipso and Valorplast, has recently amended its sorting protocol for black PET packaging. Although PET recyclers are equipped with visible optical sensors to sort PET streams by colours, the identification of transparent and dark plastic can be problematic, partly because colour detection of the PET containers is realized on black conveyor belts.

As a result, the visible domain spectrometers installed above the conveyor belts do not necessarily distinguish dark containers from transparent ones and consequently direct the dark packaging with the transparent stream, contaminating the clear stream with dark-coloured plastics.

Following new COTREP protocols, Pellenc ST and Tomra recycling solutions companies have performed successful dynamic NIR and colourimetric sorting tests on black PET bottles containing Ampacet REC-NIR-Black 135. Tests showed that PET rigid packaging formulated with up to 8% of Ampacet REC-NIR-Black 135 can be detected by an NIR scan and are channelled to the coloured PET stream with the same sorting performance, including quality and percentage of detection as other household rigid packaging materials.

Ampacet has also received other two new positive technical notices for its new generation REC-NIR-Black polyolefin solutions designed with higher heat resistance properties than their predecessors.
Part of Ampacet R3 Sustainable Solutions, REC-NIR-Black range was named a Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2019 winner in the Product Technology Innovation of the Year category.

Most black packaging contains carbon black, the most commonly used black pigment, and cannot be sorted by recycling companies. Carbon black absorbs 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 plastic packaging can only be disposed of in a landfill or used for energy recovery.

However, packaging using Ampacet’s NIR-detectable black masterbatch products can be scanned by near-infrared technology for automated sorting in recovery facilities. This technology enables the reuse and recycling of black packaging and allows recyclers to valorize this waste.

For more information about the Ampacet REC-NIR-Black range, contact

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