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Thursday, 23 March 2017 13:52

Hopes that 1.3 billion plastic ready meal mountain is to be recycled

Recyclers Viridor have teamed up with packaging specialist Nextek to find a way to sort the supermarket food tray waste mountain.

plastic food tray recyclingSimilar to the issue of coffee cups, the companies are seeking to end the over 1.3 billion of black plastic ready meal trays sold by UK supermarkets needlessly being sent each year as rubbish, rather than becoming a valuable resource.

Nextek, funded by government recycling experts WRAP, has created a new black pigment system, which makes use of black materials without using carbon black, allowing it to be sorted at source by existing near infrared (NIR) technology. Trays made with this system have been trialed at Viridor's specialist £15m plastics facility in Medway, Kent.

Up until now it has not been possible to recycle black plastics commonly found in supermarket packaging due to the use of a carbon black pigment which prevent packaging being recognized and sorted by existing global recycling technologies.