Unilever has developed a new black pigment, considered more detectable for its High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) flasks used for the TRESemmé and Lynx (Ax) brands, so that they can be “seen” by recycling plant scanners and classified for recycling.

This, according to Unilever, means that an additional 2,500 tonnes of plastic bottles can now be separated and sent for recycling each year in the UK alone, which equates to the weight of over 1,200 family-sized cars.

TRESemmé detectable black flasks are already starting to go into stores and Lynx will follow suit later in the year. Both brands will introduce minimum 30% recycled plastic this year.

Currently, standard black plastic bottles are not detected in recycling plants due to infrared light, which is absorbed by its black pigment of smoke, according to the company.

Sebastian Unundver, general manager of Unilever UK & Ireland, says: “Unilever has committed itself globally to all our plastic packaging being reusable or or compostable by 2025. This innovation moves us further towards our goal. We’d like to thank our industry partners for working with us to make this possible.”