Spectra recently unveiled a carbon black free masterbatch, available in the manufacture of many of its bottles and closures.

This latest environmentally-friendly offering enables black plastic items to be more easily sorted during the recycling process, minimising the chances of the items being incinerated or sent to landfill. 

Spectra’s Sales Director, Jonathan Powell, said, “Many brands seeking a stylish and sophisticated look, often opt for black or dark coloured packaging. However, there is an environmental trade-off, mainly because the majority dark packaging contains black pigment or masterbatch containing carbon black”.

Conventional black plastic packaging is generally not recyclable through kerbside collections in the UK, or indeed most other European nations. The reason black plastics are difficult to sort is that the carbon content prevents the item from being detected by the infra-red sorting systems used in recycling facilities.

Working in partnership with valued and trusted suppliers, Spectra has overcome this recycling challenge, to develop a colouring solution that offers a lower carbon content.

The availability of Spectra’s NIR detectable black means that when the pack is disposed of, it can be still identified in the appropriate sorting systems. This latest environmental solution offers brands greater flexibility in their choice of colour while enabling the packaging to be recycled again and not sent to landfill.

Indeed, recent reports estimated that in the UK alone, more than one million tonnes of black plastics are sent to landfill every year, often because most Material Recycling Facilities (MRF’s) deem them as contaminants, too expensive to recycle.

Jonathan went on to say, “It is imperative that as much of our products are recyclable as possible. This latest offering underlines our environmental commitment and shows we are serious about providing sustainable products to our customers”.

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