Colour Measurement of Recyclates

Improve the sorting, characterising, and use of recyclates to reduce waste.

Colour Measurement of Recyclates

Control colour quality of your recycled materials to meet your customer's demand while reducing plastic waste

The worldwide production of plastic products has been increasing for years and this trend is expected to continue in a near future. At the same time, the amount of plastic waste grows dramatically. With increasing awareness of environmental preservation, plastic recycling is one of the most significant initiatives for our society. Based on the EU resolution, all plastic materials should be recyclable by 2030. The plastic industry has been making extensive effort to develop technologies for reducing plastic waste and better sorting and reusing plastics.

Recyclates represents a huge commercial opportunity for the sector in improving products and processes, and in offering customers products that utilise recycled plastics.

Recyclates are usually a mixture of different plastic types, of inhomogeneous colours, contaminated by foreign objects. All this has a significant impact on recyclate's quality and value. Colour is one of the most important factors in this respect.

As a solution provider to the plastic industry, Konica Minolta Measuring Instruments offer customers accurate and traceable solutions for sorting, characterising, and reusing recycled polymers. Our experts can help you establish systems for minimising waste, minimising losses, and improving your tolerances. This can be everything from characterising the colour of inhomogeneous plastic samples or products, to helping companies maintain colour accuracy whilst integrating their own production waste or a percentage of recycled polymers. The appetite for recycled plastics is huge and the possibilities for producing quality products are only just beginning to be explored.

Konica Minolta has a dedicated team of experts responsible for implementing, training, optimising, and customising our computer colour matching and digital colour data platform Colibri®. By leveraging Colibri® Colour Match® and its unique algorithm, customers gain several advantages over traditional colour formulation systems when it comes to recycled materials.

Konica Minolta benchtop spectrophotometers are versatile, accurate, and traceable. By improving accuracy of the colour data for regrind, the industry can improve outcomes and tolerances for the products that they produce.

Konica Minolta group company SPECIM is at the forefront of hyperspectral vision systems, providing the recycling industry with inline solutions for identifying and sorting plastic products of different types and colours. Improving the quality of sorting within the recycling process is a crucial step in improving the possibilities of the recycled product.


  • Add and recalibrate potentially any recycled material
  • No need to newly calibrate colorants in the recycled material
  • Create a blend of recycled material and virgin material
  • Develop new recipes in a short time thanks to an excellent correction efficiency
  • Benefit from sets of colorant prepared by a pigment manufacturer as a starting point



CM-36dGV Portable Spectrophotometer

Vertically aligned benchtop spectrophotometer for measuring of solid, pellet, regrind materials, either opaque or transparent. An ideal solution for plastic companies wanting to generate accurate and traceable colour data. 

CM-26dG Portable Spectrophotometer

Portable sphere type spectrophotometer designed for user friendly colour measurement of flat or large samples. This device delivers measurement data including (SCI) and excluding (SCE) surface conditions in one measurement sequence, at ultra-high speed.

Colibri® Platform

Quality Control and Colour Matching Software, Colibri® offers special features for recycled plastics. Coloured recycled material can be used in recipe calculation either as pure polymer or in combination with virgin material without needing to generate calibration series each time.

SPECIM FX Hyperspectral cameras

The SPECIM FX series of in-line hyperspectral imaging cameras can be used for identification of plastics by colour and type as part of a sorting system. The FX-50 camera has even proven capable of sorting black PS, PE, PP, ABS, and PVC.



Colour Measurement of Recycled Plastics

Organisations can utilise Colibri® to integrate recycled materials into production. To do so, they should maximise the quality of the characterisation of those recyclates. The vertical benchtop spectrophotometer CM-36dGV can be used to generate excellent results when accurately characterising the colour of recycled materials either opaque or transparent. Edge loss errors are eliminated by illuminating an area that is larger than the measurement size. Colibri® can generate accurate matches using only characterisations of the material in a few mixes with black and white.

Mixed coloured regrind plastic products from a recycling process

Read more about Colibri® for Recycling

Learn more about the benefits of Colibri® for recycled plastics in this short handout. Colibri® is installed, trained, supported, and customised by an experienced and dedicated team who can discuss potential systems and the specifics of your particular requirements.

Colibri, The perfect match for recycled material

SPECIM Plastic recycling with Hyperspectral Imaging

The FX inline Hyperspectral imaging systems can be integrated into high throughput material sorting lines, categorising and sorting plastic recycling to help recyclers achieve the best quality product.

Read the Technical Notes
SPECIM FX series hyperspectral cameras: FX 10, FX 17, and FX 50

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