OT(ish) - recycling black plastic

<https://resource.co/article/one-show-tackles-black-plastic- confusion-11742>
"Each year, over 1.3 billion black CPET trays are used in packaging in the UK and, despite being technically fully recyclable, it is not currently possible to effectively sort them from other materials at a materials recovery or plastic recycling facility and so the trays often get sent to landfill or incineration. The reason for this is that the main pigment used to colour black plastic, carbon black, is not detectable by the near- infra-red (NIR) optical sorting equipment, because it does not allow the light to pass through.
Because of these ongoing problems with sorting black plastic, last week, WRAP released updated guidance calling on local authorities to add black plastics to their “not recycled” lists. The statement advised local councils to first check with their processor if black plastic can be included in household recycling and to update their guidelines if it cannot."
Interesting article. Our local council doesn't exclude black PET but a cynical person might think that collecting it then sending it to land fill might help to meet recycling targets.
If black plastic can't be recycled then I assume that it costs more to send it for sorting and then send it to land fill than to just chuck it straight in the waste bin.
I did note that the black plastic tray that prompted me to check this didn't have any recycling symbol on it to identify the materials. The cardboard sleeve said "check with your council".
The phrase "the statement advised local councils" doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence that anything will have happened.
Cheers
Dave R
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On 11 Feb 2018 13:10:23 GMT

tement

I notice that Tesco's uses lots of that material for its ready-meal trays, far more than Morrisons. I can't say what other large supermarket chains use, we only have those two here.
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Food trays can be a nightmare to recycle. Plastics which can be cooked in, and film covers which are strong, thin, transparent, and airtight, result in mixtures which can't be separated for recycling, and contaminate other recycled plastic. Many cardboard trays can't be recycled either because of the waterproof coating on the inside. Aluminimum foil trays could be recycled in theory, but many facilities can't separate out any aluminimum other than cans, and it's not suitable for microwave- ready meals.
However, the plastics backlash will probably reverse many of the improvements in food shelf life over recent years, which have gone a long way to reduce food wastage.
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But the little black pots that rice puddings and other hot-uppable deserts come in are ideal for mixing epoxy etc. in. Clear plastic packaging is generally hopeless because it dissolves.
Why would anyone want to send them away for inept recycling?
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As I think we’re all coming to realise, plastic recycling is an absolute shambles in this country with inconsistent advice and confusing regional variations.
I would love to know more about how waste is sorted and recycled in my area so that I can make informed decisions about exactly what I can put in my recycling bin. Alas, that information isn’t available to Joe Public.
Tim
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On 11/02/2018 22:00, Tim+ wrote:

There is a good chance that the waste isn't SORTED in your area - its possible driven 100 miles before being sorted.
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On 11/02/18 22:00, Tim+ wrote:

In a village 4 miles away, glass is sorted by colour. In this one its not.
Ther is no rhyme or reason.
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After serious thinking The Natural Philosopher wrote :

Here they have bins for clear and coloured glass. I wonder who then sort the brown, the green from all of the other colours?
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On 12/02/2018 08:28, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

Recycling centres can sort plastic and glass by colour automatically these days.
They can even separate the PET bottles from the caps as the bottles sink in water and the caps float.
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On 12/02/2018 15:16, dennis@home wrote:

What about the collars on the neck that form part of the tamper evident seal? With a plastic bottle they may be a different plastic and with a glass bottle they can be plastic or metal. The metal ones can be quite a long sleeve. Do they separate the parts after crushing them?
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On 12/02/2018 08:28, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

They don't - there is a premium for clear glass only. Green, dirty green or brown doesn't really matter.
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On 12/02/2018 06:06, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Most of the plastics marked with the recycling symbol can be recycled except for the black stuff which defeats the sorting machines. However, until very recently most of it was just shipped off to China to sort.

Clear glass which is purer maintains a premium price but only if there is enough of it to be worth keeping it separate.

More problematic is paper and cardboard which almost never comes close to covering the cost of collecting it! Worse if it gets damp it has to be discarded anyway. Our blue recyling bins have partly concave lids which collect rainwater and when you open the bin tips some inside!
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Having the recycling symbol doesn't necessarily mean your local council will recycle it. For example polystyrene may well have a recycling symbol on it but many councils won't take it.
It's on of my pet hates, packaging that says 'plastic - check local recycling', without knowing what sort of plastic one *can't* check.

We can put shredded paper and cardboard in the brown bin for composting, so most of our cartons at least go that way.
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On Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:28:48 +0000, Chris Green wrote:

Was that meant to be a pun? :)
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On 12/02/2018 09:28, Chris Green wrote:

All my cardboard and shredded paper goes in my own compost bins.
I leave cardboard in a neat pile until after it has been raining. Removing parcel tape etc. from wet card is easy. Unfortunately a lot of cardboard these days is covered in plastic which may not be evident until the underlying card is wet and the plastic film can be pealed away. I've found that removing the plastic film before composting is a lot quicker than picking out pieces of plastic film from the final compost.
On a general point. Rubbish regularly blows into my front garden and as often as once a day I go out and collect it. A decade or more ago much of this rubbish was the light weight film used to wrap cigarette packets. These days I see little of this - an upside of fewer people smoking?
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On 12/02/2018 09:15, Martin Brown wrote:

I didn't know about damp stuff being discarded. I suppose that is because it becomes difficult to pre-sort; presumably the "good stuff" ends up being pulped.
Our paper and cardboard just goes in open topped "storage box" type boxes. I saw a quote somewhere that in our area, only the cardboard returns a "profit". I keep a bin in the kitchen, but it fills up in a week and has to go outside in the rain for the second week.
They have recently started collecting food waste, which I assume goes to a digester (or perhaps to compost?) A big incinerator is currently under construction, I assume that is to burn unrecyclably plastic and things like Costa coffee mugs. In spite of having quite a lot of literature about what goes into which box, our council is not good at explaining what we might do to help.
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On 12/02/2018 06:06, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Oh well, at least it is not all decided by Brussels. Or even London.
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On 12/02/2018 06:06, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

As I've posted before - Roadside collection bins around my way require glass to be sorted by colour. When it comes to collection they use the crane to lift each bin in turn and just drop the contents into the back of the truck mixing the colours.
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ea

ic.
At our tip there's a bin for "wood and timber". Eh? Of course the thing is full of chipboard
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On 12/02/2018 07:23, stuart noble wrote:

It is likely going to end up in an incinerator so that doesn't matter. They don't like fabrics in there at all as it clogs up the smashing up mechanism on the input to the fuel hopper.
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