Odour neutraliser smell tests

With the volume of recycled plastic predicted to increase 300% by 2040, Broadway’s new product development team maintains their focus on supporting the use of PCR. The trusted masterbatch and compound manufacturer has announced a new odour-neutralising additive specifically aimed at eliminating, not masking, undesirable aromas in recycled plastic products.

Broadway has reported a big increase in colour matches for PCR since 2018. In 2022 over 50% of the matches Broadway’s expert colourists delivered were for material with PCR content. This is a trend that’s likely to continue as moulders, brand owners and consumers all demonstrate an increasing preference for recycled plastics in appropriate applications.

Whilst there are obvious circularity advantages to using PCR, it also provides challenges. As a colour masterbatch manufacturer, Broadway is well aware of the problems that PCR poses for plastic colourists. Their on-site colour matching suite is popular with brand owners. It provides the facility to view and approve a range of colours in a single day. Dosing colour into samples of a customer’s specific batch of PCR gives a true indication of what the final component will look like.

Beyond colour considerations, Broadway’s in-house technical team are working hard to address another common issue with PCR – the smell! Post-consumer recycled material can come from a range of sources and carry a multitude of contaminants, many of these can cause odours which remain apparent even after reprocessing.

Whilst these can be masked with a fragrance, this isn’t always desirable, particularly in applications such as toiletries or food packaging. It’s also very much a temporary solution, which soon fades over time, meaning end products can still present undesirable odours. Broadway’s R&D scientists spent months of research throughout 2022, exploring odour neutraliser additives for plastics. They consider these a more effective and permanent solution than attempting to mask smells with a fragrance.

R&D Scientist and Quality Assurance Coordinator Dr Chrysoula Pateraki explained:
“These products are mineral based. The minerals act to absorb and trap odour molecules. The efficiency of this absorption can be controlled by the structure of the absorbing mineral. This significantly reduces the amount of odorous particles which are released, therefore reducing the perceived smell of the material.”

“With our customers increasingly requesting colour matches for high-PCR content mouldings, the need for odour neutralisers is more prevalent than ever. We’ve explored a number of surface modified minerals in order to find a commercially viable solution which delivers optimum performance. Customer trials have proved positive and we’d welcome new customer partnerships in 2023 to allow further testing and analysis of our odour neutralisers in end products.”

R&D Scientist Dr Stephen Rayner added:
“Our technical team strives to develop solutions which support plastic recycling whilst removing the barriers to using recycled materials. We’ve developed NIR detectable piano blacks as well as colour masterbatches with PCR carrier resins. Odours are a common concern with PCR so the development of an effective odour neutraliser additive was a natural next step. Broadway’s new product developments demonstrate a resolute focus on supporting the circularity of plastics.”

Broadway’s odour neutralisers have been tested by customers in applications such as bottles and containers. Broadway advises that further product testing will continue throughout 2023, as they welcome new enquiries for their odour neutraliser additives. They’re able to supply the product as a stand-alone additive masterbatch, or with colour as a combined masterbatch or compound, in a range of polymers. Broadway’s in-house regulatory compliance experts will always ensure supplied materials adhere to customer-specified regulatory standards.

If you’d like to learn more about Broadway’s odour neutralisers, please call: 01986 875 100 or email: sales@broadwaycolours.com.