Faerch Plast, a specialized packaging company, is in the process of developing a new cPET plastic that can be identified and separated in a waste stream of mixed plastics by the use of infrared technology. Currently, infrared cameras can identify the types of plastics but only when the container is not black. Dark, opaque plastic doesn’t allow light to shine through and thus cannot be detected.
This new formulation of cPET contains a different pigment composition which allows some infrared light to be detected by the camera regardless of the color of the container. The company is currently testing the material in the United Kingdom in the manufacturing of meal trays used in cafeterias and for supermarket prepared foods. Stakeholders in the food service and restaurant industries utilizing the trays are excited about the possibility of reducing garbage disposal costs due to the re-use of the cPET material for up to three to four times before the quality degrades.
Faerch Plast believes it can manufacture the materials and still maintain pricing that is neutral to other meal tray options that require waste disposal instead of being eligible for waste recycling.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Research and development is always happening in the world of plastics. When was the last time your business priced options for switching to a green-friendly, recyclable version of a routinely ordered supply? If you found it too expensive before, you may want to check back regularly!