Black Plastic

What is black plastic?

Black plastic is a broad term usually used in the context of the recyclability of certain plastics. Any plastic product which is coloured black using additives or pigments can be thought of as black plastic. 

Why is black plastic hard to recycle?

Near infra-red (NIR) technology is employed in many recycling operations to sort recyclable and non-recyclable plastics. However, due to its colouration, black plastic often cannot be detected by near infra-red cameras. This can lead to considerable amounts of black plastic (which may be recyclable) going to landfill. However, a number of technologies have been developed in recent years, such as specialist additives and masterbatches, and AI technology.

What is black plastic commonly used for?

Black plastic is used in a wide variety. It is often used in food packaging for aesthetic reasons. Supermarkets and food brand owners have tended to use black plastic because it is perceived that the dark colour helps the food to stand out and look appealing. It is also used for automotive applications, such as car trims, in the electronics industry, for televisions, computers, etc., and for refuse sacks. 

Why is black plastic used?

Aside from the aesthetic benefits for food packaging, black plastic is sometimes chosen because its colour can mask aesthetic flaws that may arise during production, resulting in less wastage.

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