3rd October. Posted in News.

DataLase, a world leader in photonic printing, has developed an innovative solution to address the environmental issues surrounding single-use plastic bottles. Their technology allows for the decoration of HDPE plastic bottles without the need for labels, inks, or other filmic material.

DataLase’s unique 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, the first approved certification system for plastic packaging recyclability, received a Grade A rating. Achieving the highest possible level 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 a stringent examination of the product’s chemical constituents and practical recycling tests, is valid until 2026 and highlights DataLase’s commitment to global sustainability goals. The achievement was made in collaboration with Innovate UK as part of a funded project.

DataLase’s label-free pigment technology for plastic bottles offers significant benefits. The pigment is incorporated at low concentrations, ensuring 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.

Furthermore, DataLase’s label-free solution eliminates the need for labels, inks, and consumables on plastic bottles, simplifying supply chains, lowering energy costs and lessening environmental impact. The durable graphics, barcodes, QR codes and serial numbers incorporated within the plastic bottle ensure its integrity is not compromised. The one-step method of incorporation makes the solution easy to use and implement.

Commenting on the achievement, 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.”