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Recycle-ability of Black Plastic Packaging

The recycling capacity of black plastic packaging

Can we or can't we recycle black plastic?

So far, there has been confusion about whether black plastic can be recycled, and there are also differences between parliaments. The problem stems from the way black plastic reflects light. Most black plastic packaging is colored with carbon black pigments. Carbon black pigments absorb light instead of reflecting light, making it invisible to the sorting system of recycling plants.

WRAP has been working with manufacturers to solve this problem and encourages companies to use detectable black colorants to enable polymers to be detected by optical sorting systems. So far, the rate of absorption has been slow and inconsistent. Unfortunately, WRAP recommends the use of black plastic as general waste rather than recycling.

We will keep you informed of any progress.

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