Ampacet black masterbatch designed for NIR technologies

Ampacet black masterbatch…

Ampacet, a premier global provider of masterbatch and additive materials, services and solutions, has developed carbon black-free masterbatch solutions that can help to significantly reduce the carbon footprint by providing a second life for black plastic packaging.

These carbon black-free products are part of Ampacet’s sustainable development program, which features new and innovative solutions that help to protect our environment.

These black masterbatch solutions are near-infrared (NIR) transparent to allow sorting with near-infrared optical sensors and recycling. This technology enables the reuse, repair and recycling of black packaging waste and allows recyclers to valorize this waste and support the circular economy.

Europe has entered in the transition period from a linear to a circular economy and The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package with clear targets for reduction of waste and recycling. In a circular economy, reuse, repair and recycling become the norm and waste is a thing of the past.

To recycle plastic packaging into useable resins, plastic waste is presorted by resin type at plastic recovery facilities. Presorting, an essential and challenging step, especially with the various characteristics of each resin type, results in a pure stream of resin. In most recovery facilities this is accomplished with automated sorting technologies using near-infrared optical sorters.


The key limitation to near infrared optical sorting is its inability to identify and separate plastics that contain carbon black, the most commonly used black pigment. Carbon black absorbs a significant part of the ultraviolet and infrared spectrum, preventing the reflection of infrared light back to the sensor and consequently blocking the recognition of the resin’s fingerprint by a NIR scan.

While most black packaging cannot be sorted by recycling companies and can only be disposed of in a landfill or used for energy recovery, packaging using Ampacet’s carbon black-free masterbatch products can be scanned by near-infrared technology for automated sorting at recovery facilities.

Ampacet’s carbon black-free masterbatch range REC-NIR-BLACK has been named a Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2019 winner in the category of Product Technology Innovation of the Year. Award winners were announced today during the Plastics Recycling Show in Amsterdam.