Researchers explore fluorescence to advance food- and drink-container sortation, and an advanced films manufacturer begins closed-loop recycling with customers’ materials.

Fluorescent sortation: It’s often difficult for sortation systems to detect what a container was used for prior to recycling. Reuters reports British researchers are developing a system that applies phosphor to container labels and uses fluorescent light during sorting to automatically identify whether a recovered plastic container was for food and drink. The research joins other recent efforts to visually identify food-grade containers during processing.

Extrusion expansion: Cortec Advanced Films, a manufacturer of protective films used to prevent corrosion of metal equipment during shipping, has expanded its Minnesota extrusion facility and launched a customer recycling program. According to a press release, the film recovered through the program will be used at up to 20 percent recycled content in Cortec’s new films.

Innovative contaminant: “Smart packaging” has gained steam in recent years, with manufacturers increasingly producing interactive packaging. The Guardian describes the concerns this technology raises for product recyclability, as the interactive features add additional materials into the package that could complicate recycling.

Prominent speaker: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will speak on Friday at the Governor’s Recycling Summit, held in conjunction with the Michigan Recycling Coalition’s annual conference. Snyder will walk the exhibition hall and address attendees on his vision for moving recycling forward in the Great Lakes State.

Island impact: A remote island in the South Pacific has become a repository for millions of pieces of ocean plastic and trash, damaging its environment and the wildlife living on the island. NPR reports the island is 3,100 miles from any major factory or town, meaning the 17 tons of trash floated long distances before arriving on the island.


Plastics Recycling 2018