NIR Detectable Aerpack: a step forward for recycling black plastic containers

June 28, 2021

The current system for sorting plastics from separate/domestic waste collection is not able to identify with absolute precision all those products that are not part of solid urban waste, especially in the case of black-coloured food packaging.
Today’s system uses optical (NIR) separators to identify material destined for the recovery process, but the infrared waves projected by the NIR plant are absorbed by black-coloured packs, because most of them contain the carbon black pigment, which absorbs the rays, thus preventing the system from identifying the recyclable materials.

To solve this problem, a black colourant has been developed that does not use the black carbon pigment. This colourant can be used for products in PS or rPS, and allows the packaging to be recognised by NIR as recyclable material, because it reflects the infrared waves.

Coopbox continues its efforts to make its products compliant with the standards of the circular economy and to develop packs able to reduce the environmental impact of the food industry. This is why it has combined its AERpack technology with the benefits of this new colourant, developing the NIR Detectable AERpack line.

The aim of AERpack technology is to meet the needs of major retail chains, by guaranteeing excellent mechanical resistance for its trays, perfect adherence to the film and a barrier effect ideal for packaging in a protective atmosphere.
These characteristics make AERpack particularly eco-sustainable, because they extend shelf life and thus reduce food waste, one of the main causes of pollution attributable to the food industry.
To these qualities, NIR Detectable AERpack adds the possibility to be included among recyclable plastics, thanks to the use of the colourant without the black carbon pigment.

Coopbox supplies these innovative packs in several shades of black, offering customers the possibility to customise their trays.
This material can also be processed to make packs using extrusion, injection and thermoforming processes.

With this new product, Coopbox extends its wide range of green products, pursuing its objective to offer customers the most cost-effective items for their company while also protecting the environment.