CESA®-IR Black

Detectability of black packaging applications for recycling


Clariant’s CESA®-IR Black masterbatches replace carbon black to make black packaging detectable during the recycling process. The polymer grade of the black packaging can then be successfully identified and the packaging directed to the relevant polymer stream.

Recyclability of black plastic packaging

As products jostle for position on our supermarket shelves, and brands compete for market share, black packaging applications stand out as the cool color of minimalism, power and authority. The challenge to packagers however is that although the typical pigment for black coloration, carbon black, provides excellent coloration strength and dispersion quality, it covers the polymer spectra during detection, making the packaging difficult to detect and sort by optical sorting systems widely used in plastics recycling. Black plastic applications such as ready-meal trays therefore often end up in landfill or being recycled into low-value materials. With the increasing demand from consumers and governments for environmentally friendlier products, this issue urgently needs to be addressed.


»New CESA®-IR Masterbatches have been developed to achieve a persuasive black color on plastics, without compromising on the essential detectability during recycling process.«

Alessandro Dulli,
Global Head of Segment Packaging

Replacing carbon black and making it detectable

To take action on environmental issues, and meet the demands of our customers, we have developed a solution, the new CESA®-IR masterbatches, to replace carbon black in packaging and make it detectable by current sorting technology. This solution improves the IR-detectability of black HDPE and LDPE fractions in injection and extrusion blow-molded products; black polypropylene (PP) in films and injection-molded products; and black PET and C-PET in sheets and film.

Functional Benefits


Makes black plastic detectable by current sorting technology


Highly loaded masterbatches, high coloration strength & dispersion quality


Very good processability

ico_ circular_economy

Best-in-class solution for circular economy requirements


As a responsible masterbatch supplier and a technology leader in color and additive concentrates, Clariant Masterbatches delivers innovative solutions to processors, manufacturers and end users around the world. Our CESA-IR® portfolio for black packaging can be used to make different types of packaging detectable for recycling by the current sorting technology.

Product Code Polymer Injection Molding Injection Blow Molding Extrusion Blow Molding Film Extrusion
CESA® IR PE94000785 HDPE - - -
CESA® IR PE94000789 PP - - -
CESA® IR PP94000706 PP - - -
CESA® IR NE94025578 PET - - -
CESA® IR NE94025582 C-PET - - -
CESA® IR NB90050202 PET - - -

Further products under development

● recommended/tested

Detection of HDPE colored with CESA®-IR against HDPE colored with carbon black

The wavelength of HDPE colored with carbon black (green curve) is lost in the background (black curve). HDPE colored with CESA®-IR (olive green line) has a wavelength close to virgin HDPE (blue curve) and is then detected as HDPE. Distinction from LDPE (red curve) is possible.

Additive Masterbatches

Improving the performance
of plastic products


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