How to break the black plastic recycling dilemma

- Aug 12, 2019-

Recycling and reuse of waste plastics is an important way to achieve sustainable development and recycling economy. As waste classification becomes a new air outlet, recycling and utilization related industries of waste plastics also rise with the wind.But did you know that among all kinds of colored waste plastics, colorless and transparent plastic has high recycling value, while black plastic is a big obstacle to recycling?

* the big headache is sorting.It is difficult for black plastic to be identified and classified by optical sensors in waste sorting equipment, which makes it impossible for black plastic products to be automatically sorted by machines. In order to reduce incorrect sorting of black plastic, Toronto, Canada, lists black plastic products as non-recyclable garbage and calls for banning the use of black plastic.

Previously committed to plastic recycling charity - RECyclingofUsedPlastics (figures) has organized a cross-industry BBS at the end of 2017.BBS to solve the recycling barriers of black plastic packaging, improve the recyclability of plastic packaging, and on the black and other undetectable color plastic packaging classification and reprocessing and a series of topics focused on the discussion.

Through this BBS discussion figures identified or are developing some existing solutions, including the use of color, transparent packaging or replacement can be detected using black paint, can be detected and the development of separation technology for the existing carbon black packaging.The pace of scientific and technological development has never been stopped. Up to now, some recycling technologies about black plastic have been published successively. Let's learn about the solutions to the sorting problem of black plastic

Unilever: unilever has used HDPE bottles from its lux and showy brands with a black dye that can be identified.The new black plastic bottle, developed by unilever and companies Recap, Veolia and Wrap, is expected to be rolled out gradually from this year.

Henkel: recently, henkel and Ampacet jointly created a completely renewable black plastic packaging solution, and realized the development and application of black packaging sorting technology.The new packaging material is based on a black material without carbon black, which has been tested by experts to be of good quality, able to meet production requirements, be recognized by sorting equipment, and friendly to waste plastic recycling.The material is already used in black plastic bottles from GreinerPackaging for Bref toilet cleaning products.

Black plastic recycling solutions

There was also good news about the recycling of black plastic: researchers at Swansea university found that the black plastic commonly used in food packaging could be recycled to make new materials such as electrical wires.

The researchers tried to remove the carbon from the black plastic and then recombine other elements of the plastic into carbon nanotubes.Carbon nanotubes have good thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity, widely used, especially in the current 5G technology, flexible materials and other technologies hot situation will have a broader future.

Dr Alvin ekwhite, a researcher at Swansea university's energy security research institute (ESRI), has shown how carbon nanotubes can transmit electricity to light bulbs.Eight percent of the world's electricity is lost in transmission and distribution, and the research team plans to use waste plastic to make high-purity cables to improve the efficiency of power transmission.

Black plastic sorting problem solution

The problem is not the end of technology, but the beginning of exploration.With the passage of time, we believe that humanity will break more technological bottlenecks and continue to advance on the road of science in the future