DATALASE has developed a solution aimed at addressing the environmental issues surrounding single-use plastic bottles.
The photonic printing specialist’s technology is said to allow for the decoration of HDPE plastic bottles without the need for labels, inks, or other filmic material.
DataLase’s pigment, added during the masterbatch stage of HDPE bottle production, remains invisible until activated by laser. This technology, which has been tested and certified by RecyClass, received a Grade A rating. This indicates that ‘the packaging does not pose any recyclability issues and the recycled plastics can potentially feed a closed-loop scheme to be used in the same quality application’.
The certification process, which included an examination of the product’s chemical constituents and practical recycling tests, is valid until 2026. The achievement was made in collaboration with Innovate UK as part of a funded project.
The pigment is incorporated at low concentrations, which DataLase explained ensures no contamination or coloration during the bottle recycling process, and provides an ‘energy-efficient alternative’ to direct surface printing with wet-inks or surface destructive etching.
The solution also eliminates the need for labels, inks, and consumables on plastic bottles. The graphics, barcodes, QR codes and serial numbers incorporated within the plastic bottle ensure its integrity is not compromised.
DataLase’s chief technology officer, Ally Grant, said, “We are delighted to be awarded a grade A certification for our technology. DataLase is revolutionising the plastic bottle industry by providing a solution that allows for decoration without compromising the recyclability of the bottles. This innovative solution not only potentially helps to address recyclability issues in the plastic bottle industry, but also empowers supply chain stakeholders in their sustainability efforts.”