Black plastic recycling project wins £800k of government funding

A new cross-industry project aiming to improve the recycling of rigid, coloured plastics has won £800,000 (€930,000) of UK Government funding.

The project involves recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety, plastic innovations specialist Impact Solutions, reprocessors Impact Recycling and plastics injection moulder company McLaren Plastics. The companies will be helping to develop Impact Solutions’ new process, called PolyMet, in which the pigment in coloured, rigid plastics can be removed without damaging the original plastic polymer.

Coloured plastics, especially black plastics, cannot be detected by standard sorting technology, meaning they are not generally collected by councils in kerbside recycling schemes. The companies hope that with the government funding they can make the new process financially viable and able to be integrated into existing sorting facilities, improving the value of black plastics and making them more likely to be collected.