Norwegian ice cream company Diplom-Is has partnered with plastic packaging company Berry Global to develop sustainable packaging for its Royal brand.

Diplom-Is will switch to a new non-carbon black version of its previously used carbon black colour containers.

Berry Global said the packaging solution enables waste to be sorted more easily, as it is detectable by Near Infra-Red (NIR) scanners.

The company uses a special high-quality non-carbon black masterbatch featuring special pigments to improve NIR technology detection and sorting.

Diplom-Is communications manager Anne-Lene Molland said: “We are always on the lookout for more sustainable and affordable packaging solutions for our products so when we got the opportunity to switch our premium ice cream brand Royal to non-carbon black containers, the choice was easy.

“We get a lot of positive feedback and have raised awareness of the challenges with the colour black for packaging through articles and social media.

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“We believe these initiatives may encourage others to switch to non-carbon black for packaging.”

The containers are in line with Diplom-Is’ goal to develop quality packaging without harming the environment.

The Norwegian company aims to develop 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.

Molland added: “The new black enables proper sorting of Royal ice cream containers at local recycling and sorting facilities, which can save significant amounts of virgin plastic material.

“We have been very thorough in our approach by successfully testing the non-carbon black containers at two local recycling plants in Norway, as well as at a sorting plant in Germany.”

Based in Indiana, Berry Global works with clients to develop, design and manufacture packaging products that can contribute to a circular economy.

In September this year, the company partnered with US-based food company Mars to launch snack jars made with recycled plastic content.

The jars contain 15% post-consumer resin and are available in 60oz, 81oz and 87oz sizes.