We have pioneered the development of a new detectable black pigment for our High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) bottles – which we use for our TRESemmé and Lynx (Axe) brands – so they can now be ‘seen’ by recycling plant scanners and sorted for recycling.
These automatic optical sorting machines are unable to distinguish black plastic because they use near infra-red light which is absorbed by the ‘carbon black’ pigment traditionally used to colour the bottles. This effectively makes them invisible to the sorter and leads to them being rejected and sent for waste.
The new technology means that an additional 2,500 tonnes of plastic bottles could now potentially be sorted and sent for recycling each year in the UK alone. That’s equivalent to the weight of over 1,200 family-sized cars or 200 London buses.
It also means we can further ‘close the loop’ and include the recycled black plastic back in new packaging.