Toyo Ink Europe Specialty Chemicals S.A.S. (TIESC), a member of the Toyo Ink Group, has developed a whole new range of Lioplax black plastic masterbatch for near-infrared (NIR) sorting and subsequent material recovery. The new packaging masterbatch supports the recyclability of black plastic waste that is currently destined for landfill in order to help close the loop on the circular economy.

Presently, plastic waste sorting is based on automatic optical sorting methods with the majority of sorting equipment relying on the reflectance of NIR wavelengths. Standard black masterbatches are typically produced with carbon black pigments. Since carbon black absorbs infrared light, identification by optical sensors is impossible. This results in undetected black or dark-colored packaging waste being sent to landfill or incineration.

“Toyo Ink Europe Specialty Chemicals has successfully brought to market a sustainable alternative enabling your packaging to integrate the recycling loop,” says Dr. Xavier André, technical & research manager of Toyo Ink Europe Specialty Chemicals. “Packaging using a new Lioplax black masterbatch can be detected by NIR sensors during the sorting stage at material recovery centers. This allows dark-color packaging to be sorted and integrated back into the value chain as a reusable raw material through recycling. Our NIR black colorants have been certified according to the Cotrep recyclability test protocol and have received positive results at both Pellenc and Tomra testing centers.”

The company says that its Lioplax series of NIR-sorting black masterbatches are specially formulated for use in PP trays, PET preforms, films, bottles and other packaging applications. Different grades are available in varying black color shades, grades of resins (polyolefin, PET) and processing compatibility such as injection, extrusion and blow moulding. The company adds that brand owners can keep their black packaging market product codes while becoming more sustainable.

Visit for more information.