Why is black plastic the worst choice?

Plastic is not equal to plastic. The color of the plastic is of great importance in the process of waste segregation and recycling.

The black pigment in the plastic absorbs the infrared light used in the sorting process. Sorting machines do not distinguish between black plastic and, as a result, a lot of plastic waste is not recycled. This is due to the soot staining of the plastic. Even 0.2% soot can cause misreading and incorrect sorting of this raw material.

A breakthrough in the segregation and reuse of black plastic was the discovery in 2019 of a dye that does not come from carbon soot, but even in this case, segregation is not easy. Waste sorting plants must be equipped with special NIR sensors (so-called Black Scans) to identify black plastic as a secondary raw material. Unfortunately, few sorting plants are equipped with NIR scanners due to the need to incur additional costs. Older sorting plants are unable to segregate dark plastic, and as a result, loads of this raw material end up in landfills as non-recyclable waste.

Another obstacle to reusing dark plastic is its heavy pigmentation. The addition of dark granulate causes the mass of recycled waste to be dyed dark, which is not always the desired effect. Even a small amount of dark plastic granules will significantly darken the mass. But in this case it is an individual matter which packaging is more sought after or more practical, dark or light.

Hocus Pocus strives to keep the use of plastic to a minimum. We hope that with the help of science we will be able to introduce zero waste packaging in the future. For now, we have plastic pumps and pipette caps in white. Unfortunately, they do not come from recycling due to the lack of availability of these products on the market in smaller quantities. Orders of pumps and pipettes with recycled material are only possible for quantities of 0.5 million pieces. This amount will cover our needs for years, not to say decades. Due to the lack of difficulties in the waste segregation process, we consciously chose white pumps and pipettes. We use glass bottles with 25% recycled glass. When introducing new products, our priority will be to pack them in the least invasive way for the environment.