Quinn Packaging, a leading plastic food packaging producer based in Ireland, is making black plastic food trays fully identifiable in sorting systems, reducing black plastic waste going to landfill.
In short, the manufacturer has addressed long standing recyclability concerns around black PET food trays with a new range of patent-pending black plastic trays.
The result will be to divert thousands of tonnes of black plastic from ending up in landfill each year, providing the first real possibility of a circular economy for black plastic packaging.
Currently standard black PET trays are manufactured using a carbon black colour additive. Material Recovery Facilities (MRF’s) use Near-Infra-Red (NIR) Optical Sorting Equipment to identify and sort various plastic waste streams including PET plastic. The standard black PET trays absorb the infra-red beams making them invisible to the sorting system, with the result they cannot be identified and removed for recycling.
The new Detecta by Quinn range of black PET trays is, quite simply, a technological breakthrough. The unique black colour additive makes the trays easily identifiable allowing for removal in sorting using existing NIR equipment meaning black trays can now be recycled.
Quinn Packaging partnered with Tomra, the leading global provider of sensor-based sorting systems, to undertake extensive trials to prove the performance in challenging sorting environments.
During the development process, Quinn Packaging was focused not only on providing the market with a detectable black PET tray that could be easily recycled, but also on producing a PET tray that was competitively priced yet still blended with over 90% recycled material.
Repak, who operate the packaging recovery compliance scheme for Ireland under licence from the Irish Government, have endorsed the Detecta by Quinn product, declaring it an important breakthrough in helping meet new EU targets on plastic waste.
Source: Quinn Packaging