an official journal of: published by:
an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Xiaozheng Chen - Department of Processing and Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Nils Kroell - Department of Processing and Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Alexander Feil - Department of Processing and Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Thomas Pretz - Department of Processing and Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2020 CISA Publisher


In food and medical packaging, multiple layers of different polymers are combined in order to achieve optimal functional properties for various applications. Flexible multilayer plastic packaging achieves a reduction in weight compared to other packaging products with the same function, saving material and in transportation costs. Recycling of post-industrial multilayer packaging was achieved by some companies, but the available technologies are limited to specific polymer types. For post-consumer waste, recycling of multilayer packaging has not been achieved yet. One of the main challenges in plastic sorting is that the detection and separation of multilayer packaging from other materials is not possible yet. In this study, the possibility to detect and sort flexible multilayer plastic packaging was investigated with near-infrared spectroscopy, which is the state-of-the-art technology for plastic sorting. The results show that from a detection and classification point of view, sorting of monolayer, two- and three-layers samples under laboratory conditions is possible. According to the captured data, the sequence of layers has little influence on the spectra. In case of glossy samples, the spectra are influenced by printed surfaces. With an increase in thickness, the spectra get more characteristic, which makes the classification easier. Our results indicate that the sorting of post-consumer multilayer plastic packaging by main composition is theoretically achievable.


Editorial History

  • Received: 31 Mar 2020
  • Revised: 07 Jul 2020
  • Accepted: 28 Jul 2020
  • Available online: 05 Oct 2020


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