Near-Infrared (NIR) and Metal Detection

Near-Infrared (NIR)

According to WRAP in 2013, around 30,000 tonnes of black plastic packaging entered the UK household waste stream, much of which was undetectable by the machinery used in recycling plants. Since then, the amount of black plastic use has continued to grow, with no clear recycling option available.

Detection is the key

The carbon black-based masterbatches and compounds used in black products make the base polymer undetectable by recycling facilities using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy technology. This means much of the commonly used PE, PP and PET black plastics from mixed-plastic household waste that could be recycled is missed and ends up in landfill.

Technical solution

To help solve this chronic waste issue, Colloids has developed three innovative new NIR-detectable black masterbatch products which can be used for a wide range of packaging in addition to food trays, such as containers, caps, sheet and film products:

  • MPT9D2281 NIR grade for black PET food trays
  • MPE9D2282 NIR grade for black PP or PE trays
  • MPE9D2173 NIR grade for black PP or PE

These three NIR black masterbatch grade options are formulated for production using conventional lines and processes for plastics including: injection moulding; blow moulding; blown and cast film; rod, plate, tube and thin sheet extrusion.

Colloids offers producers bespoke solutions, with black NIR-detectable masterbatches or compounds made to order, for all commonly used polymers for flexible and rigid black plastic packaging, including: APET, CPET, PBT, PP, HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, PS, ABS, PC, PCABS and EVA. Both formulations meet EC AP (89)1 European Resolution on the use of colourants in plastic materials coming into contact with food. MPE 9D2173 has FDA approval.

Metal Detection

Colloids can offer a range of bespoke masterbatch and compound formulations that enable conventional plastics to be detected by metal detection and/or X-ray equipment. This type of detection equipment is commonly used within the food processing, health care and pharmaceutical industries.

Conventional plastics are not normally detectable, and should they accidentally contaminate a product this can lead to expensive rejects and reputation-damaging product recalls.

All plastic products used within a manufacturing process that could be damaged by possible plastic contamination would benefit from using a Colloids detectable plastic solution.

Applications for such formulations include food scoops/scrapers, pens, cable ties, plastic trays, polyethylene packaging as well as numerous engineering and plant equipment that is often made from plastic rather than metal components.

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