Adding clarity to recycled PET

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Clariant A comparison of a bottle using recycled PET with a yellowing problem, left, and one with Clariant's new additive.

Yellow isn’t mellow when it’s the color of a bottle using recycled PET.

With this thought in mind, materials maker Clariant has introduced a new liquid additive masterbatch concentrate that minimizes yellowing and graying of PET caused by using post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin.

The new products are part of the HiFromer line made by Muttenz, Switzerland-based Clariant. They can be used in most plastic processing methods and have received approval for food-contact applications from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Clariant executive Peter Prusak said in a news release that packagers “are under heavy pressure from consumers and environmental advocates to use more PCR in their products – but the recyclate tends to reduce or discolor the crystal clarity that PET is known for.”

The new additives “promise to minimize this problem,” added Prusak, who serves as head of marketing for Clariant Masterbatches in North America. The liquid additives were tested on bottles made on a production-scale blow-molding machine at Clariant’s plant in East Chicago, Ill.

Clariant employs 17,000 worldwide and has annual sales of more than $6 billion. The firm ranks as one of the world’s largest producers of color and additive concentrates.