Quinn Packaging designs environmentally friendly trays for confectionery
Irish-based Quinn Packaging has designed a series of environmentally-friendly black trays for confectionery that have been devised to be fully identified by sorting systems for recycling.
As the company explained, it hopes its latest Detecta series will offer a significant breakthrough in prevent thousands of tonnes of plastic being sent to landfill.
Presently, many black plastic trays made using carbon colour additives, are reportedly invisible to near-infra-red optical sorting systems, which Quinn believes will be resolved with its new series.
Consequently, the business partnered with Tomra, the leading global provider of sensor-based sorting systems, to undertake extensive trials to prove the performance in challenging sorting environments.
Steve Walsh, UK sales manager at Tomra, facilitated this testing for the new product. He said: “We were delighted to have recently hosted Quinn Packaging at our Test Centre in Germany where we conducted extensive trials using the Tomra auto-sort across all sorting situations. The results speak for themselves, the Detecta by Quinn trays proved to be fully identifiable in all respects’.
During the development process Quinn Packaging was focused not only on providing the market with a detectable black PET tray that could be easily recycled, but also on producing a PET tray that was competitively priced yet still blended with over 90% recycled material.
Thomas McCaffrey, new product development manager at Quinn Packaging, added that there had been a ‘growing desire’ within the food sector to move away from black coloured packaging.
He said: “For Quinn Packaging this was short-sighted. If we are serious about moving towards a true circular economy, where food trays are recycled back into food trays, then the ultimate packaging colour to achieve this is black.
“The new Detecta by Quinn range overcomes the issue of identifying and sorting black PET trays for recycling and will hopefully help the industry to move towards a true circular economy.’
Repak, that operates a packaging recovery compliance scheme for Ireland under licence from the Irish Government, has reportedly endorsed the Detecta by Quinn product declaring it an important breakthrough in helping meet new EU targets on plastic waste.
Brian Walsh, of Repak, commented: “The EU Action Plan for a Circular Economy has a recycling target of 75% for packaging waste by 2030. To allow us to achieve this we need a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, identify where problems exist and then work together to bring forward solutions.
“The new Detecta by Quinn product is a perfect example of this. Quinn Packaging have worked closely with both the retail and the waste recycling sector to develop a new black PET tray that can be recycled. A great illustration of packaging design for recycling.”