The myth of black & brown packaging

News / The myth of black & brown packaging

RETAL Films explains how traditionally hard-to-recycle films can be welcomed in standard recycling.

Thermoformed packaging made from black and/or metallized PET film is labelled ‘difficult to recycle’ due being unrecognized by recycling plants’ infrared sorting equipment, meaning that used packaging is not directed to the recycling stream. The demand from brand owners for black and/or metallized film has been decreasing, as brands are keen to increase their sustainability performance. Yet black and metalized multilayer PET/PE films are the ideal packaging vehicle for foods as they support excellent shelf life, provide strong barrier properties and can be visually appealing to consumers. Black rPET is valuable to the circular economy in general as it offers an excellent destination for scrap PET of all colours, so keeping it in the packaging value chain is crucial. RETAL Films has acquired the technology to use multilayer PET waste in the form of regrinds bought back from our customers, reducing the post-industrial waste which might otherwise be channeled to incineration. We produce almost all colours of films, including non-carbon black and metalized films and now post-industrial waste can be reprocessed into food-grade films.