Removing the Black Hole in Plastics Recycling

Arctic® Infrared Reflective Pigments allow for a more sustainable solution to black plastic recycling

THE PROBLEM

One of the major benefits of plastics and a big part of its sustainability is that they can be recycled. This benefit is optimized when the recycle stream can be sorted by polymer type as seen in Graphic 1. A common sorting method uses near-infrared (NIR) light from 700 to around 2000 nanometers (nm) to scan the plastic. The reflected NIR light can be used to identify the polymer. Carbon black is the most commonly used black pigment for many applications, including the coloration of plastics. It is economical, has high coloring and visual opacity properties and acts as a UV absorber. The problem is that the carbon black pigment interferes with the reflectance by absorbing the NIR light which makes identifying the polymer impossible. This impedes the recycling of up to 10% of plastics at some facilities1. If the material can’t be recycled it will often end up in a landfill. Since black is a very popular color for packaging, especially food tray packaging, a black pigment is needed that doesn’t interfere with the NIR scanning and has regulatory acceptance for food packaging.

NIR Sorting of Plastics
Graphic 1

 

Download the rest of the article here to read how this technology can help reduce waste in landfills.

How Shepherd Color challenges the chemistry of pigments to address regulatory pressures

(Excerpt from Compounding World September 2019 Issue) Pigment chemistries continue to come under regulatory pressure, based on their chemical composition and physical forms as well as challenges from non-governmental organisations. “We continue to push the edge of currently used chemistry to find new pigments that address new regulatory pressures,” says Mark Ryan, Marketing Manager at Shepherd Color.

One example of this push is the company’s removal of nickel from the composition of its CI Pigment Green 50 (PG50), due in part at least to concerns in the EU. Pigment Green 50 is often used in place of green chromium oxide (PG17) because it is more chromatic and does not contain chromium. Shepherd Color’s Green 10G603 is free of both nickel and chromium and is literally “greener”. “It has an increased negative a* value that denotes how green in colour a pigment is,” explains Ryan.

To read the entire article by Jennifer Markarian, Contributing Editor for Compounding World, click here.

How Shepherd Color is Getting It Right With Employee Engagement

Treating people how you want to be treated ‒ operating using this golden rule.

For many companies, an investment in innovative technology is critical to survival. Many consider it the primary path to a competitive advantage. However, it would be a mistake for executives to take their eyes off the human component, according to a recent Gallup study.

The Gallup research found a disturbing trend in the global workplace: Only 15% of full-time employees consider themselves fully engaged at work, which was defined as “highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace.”

As Gallup puts it, that figure represents “a stunning amount of wasted potential, given that business units in the top quartile of our global employee engagement database are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.”

Employee engagement also is a contributing factor to social sustainability — the company’s overall relationship with people. Companies that score high with social sustainability are ethical in their treatment of employees, clients, and the community.

An inside look at The Shepherd Color Company, where it’s not uncommon for employees to stay for 10, 20, 30 years or more, demonstrates the power of its socially sustainable culture.

Shepherd Color President John Marten said treatment of employees has been among the company’s differentiators. “The owners have always operated by the golden rule — treating people how they would want to be treated,” Marten said. “We give our employees opportunities and we give them the tools to do their jobs well.”

Read on to find out how we build a foundation that supports a social sustainable culture in the workplace by downloading the rest of this article.

Shepherd Color’s Commitment to Sustainable Sourcing

Ensuring raw material suppliers are obtaining sources in a responsible way.

During the past five to six years, Shepherd Color, like many manufacturing companies worldwide, has been increasingly focused on the sourcing of materials as another critical sustainability factor.

Chris Collesel, Purchasing Manager, is responsible for purchasing raw materials, bulk chemicals, and packaging components as well as laboratory and office supplies. In that role, Collesel focuses heavily on ethical and responsible sourcing.

This includes all aspects of sustainability from an environmental and social impact. “It has really changed significantly over the last several years,” Collesel said. “We have become more knowledgeable and more thoughtful about how we source our raw materials — not just what we make with our product but what we bring in the door.”

Read more on how we source our materials by downloading the rest of this article.

How Shepherd Color Drills Down Into the Layers of Sustainability

Just a few decades ago, sustainability seemed to be a fairly straightforward concept. It was initially defined as the ability of biological systems to endure, and remain diverse and productive. Fast forward to today and the concept of sustainability has become increasingly complex. Sustainability can be achieved through numerous avenues, including protecting the environment, acting ethically toward people, and adopting sound economic practices.

Throughout its 100+ year history, The Shepherd Color Company has been naturally pursuing sustainability. It’s an outcome of the company’s goal to do what’s right when it comes to people and the environment.

“It goes back to one of the Shepherd family’s core values,” said Mark Ryan, Marketing Manager. “We work for long term impact. It forms a lot of the decisions that we make.” “Our products inherently have long life cycles,” Ryan added. “When we bring out a new product, we are looking at it from multiple viewpoints, including regulatory and human safety, both from making it internally and its use in the field.”

Learn the critical ways that Shepherd Color achieves sustainability as part of its manufacturing operations by downloading the rest of this article.

Shepherd Color Innovation Leads to Higher Levels of Sustainability

Although sustainability has been steadily gaining traction as a global concern in recent years, many leading manufacturers have been investing in sustainable practices for decades.

Shepherd Color is among The Shepherd Color Company is among those manufacturers investing in sustainable practices. “You could say we were sustainable before sustainable was cool,” said Mark Ryan, Marketing Manager, and a 20-year Shepherd employee.

“Shepherd Color’s investment in sustainable production predates even my time with the company,” Ryan said. “Largely because of the owner’s philosophy to do what’s right. As a result, sustainable practices have been developed both in response to their focus on treating people ethically as well as the environment.”

Shepherd Color’s focus on sustainability has evolved over the past several decades — to support their own values as well as respond to customer’s needs and demands.

Learn more about how we achieve these demands by downloading the rest of this article.

PRESS RELEASE: The Shepherd Color Company is Rethinking Sustainability

(CINCINNATI, OH, May 21, 2019) The sustainability initiative has gained global momentum in recent years, but The Shepherd Color Company has been implementing various forms of sustainable practices for decades. As a leading global producer of complex inorganic color pigments, the Company has been naturally pursuing sustainability in an effort to “do what’s right” when it comes to people and the environment for over 80 years. To support their values as well as respond to customer’s needs and demands, their efforts in this area continue to evolve.

For almost a decade, Shepherd Color has made a global effort to ensure that raw materials are obtained in an ethical manner. Numerous policies are in place to declare the due diligence among staff members and suppliers that they are taking measures not to source conflict minerals, like those from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “We have become more knowledgeable and more thoughtful about how we source our raw materials — not just what we make with our product but what we bring in the door,” said Chris Collesel, Purchasing Manager.

Along with sustainable sourcing, Shepherd Color is focused on social sustainability, which represents the relationship with people. The company’s founders set high standards for the ethical treatment of its employees, clients, and communities. “Even with Shepherd Color’s extensive growth, its focus on social sustainability is set through its human relations principles and policies,” said Nathan Hatfield, Human Resources Manager for the company. “An example would be how we coordinate programs like our tuition reimbursement. Whether you’re a part-time or full-time employee, you’re eligible for tuition reimbursement. And you can pursue any degree program at any accredited university.”

The main layer to sustainability that Shepherd Color focuses on is economic sustainability. Since 1930, Shepherd Color has been developing long-lasting inorganic color pigments. Their pigments are durable, which decreases the need to be replaced every few years; and are reflective, keeping buildings and surrounding cityscapes cool, and saving energy. Their Arctic® reflective technology pigments are now 5th generation products, proving that Shepherd Color has continued to advance their products over the last 30 years, helping customers save more money, and helping the environment stay cooler.

Shepherd Color’s focus on sustainability has evolved over the years, but one thing has remained constant, “do what’s right” when it comes to people and the environment. Learn more about our sustainability initiatives by visiting www.shepherdcolor.com/sustainability.

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ABOUT THE SHEPHERD COLOR COMPANY

Founded in 1981, The Shepherd Color Company produces a wide range of high-performance Complex Inorganic Color Pigments (CICPs) used in a variety of industries. These pigments are an extraordinary class of inorganic pigments that offer stable, long-lasting color for many applications. They have unbeatable weatherability, heat and chemical resistance, are non-warping and easy to disperse. More Expertise. Better Performance. Best Value. That’s Shepherd Color.

Website Update: YInMn and Sustainability Pages

We are excited to launch our new Sustainability page on The Shepherd Color website. Visit to learn more about our processes that protect people and the environment, while reducing our carbon footprint.

If you are looking for our YInMn page that describes our unique shade of blue for artist color materials and for building products with high solar reflectance, it is now listed under Products from our navigation. Shepherd Color is working to obtain the regulatory approvals needed for YInMn to ensure safety and allow for commercial use. Follow this page to stay updated.

WEBINAR AVAILABLE: Ultra-High Performance Yellow and Orange Pigments

Presented by Mark Ryan, Marketing Manager of The Shepherd Color Company
Webinar Date/Time: May 22, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. EDT
Click here to view the pre-recorded webinar and download the slides.

The yellow color space has a wide range of pigment options that have a balance of chromaticity, opacity and durability. The new NTP Yellow (PY227) brings bright chromatic color, high opacity, and excellent durability all at the same time. To complement the NTP Yellow, our improvements of the RTZ Orange (PY216) yield a true orange color unto itself, but also allows the addition of “a* value” or redness to color matches without compromising weathering or heat stability.

Color matches that used to depend on blends of organic and inorganic pigments can now be matched with all inorganic pigments for the ultimate in durability and a true expansion of the durable color envelope.

The NTP Yellow and RTZ Orange are compatible with a wide range of polymers in coatings and plastics for use in a wide range of applications:

  • Pre-painted coil and extrusion
  • Engineering polymers
  • Laminates and co-extrusions
  • Powder coatings
  • Architectural and façade coatings

Shepherd Color is also excited to announce a new addition to our NTP Yellow product portfolio, NTP Yellow 10G155. This new product brings the outstanding color, opacity, and durability that people have seen in NTP Yellow, but in a color shade closer to red-shade bismuth vanadate (PY184) pigments. Come see what this new pigment can do for you!

Click here to view the pre-recorded webinar and download the slides.

About Mark Ryan
Mark Ryan is the Marketing Manager for the Shepherd Color Company. Mark is responsible for market and product development for key technologies such as Arctic® IR reflective pigments, the NTP Yellow and RTZ Orange high-performance pigments, along with Shepherd Color’s highly-durable and heat-stable standard pigments.

Mark has spoken and been published around the world on the use of these problem-solving pigments for paints, coatings, plastics and other materials. He has been quoted in Bloomberg and the Harvard Business Review, and he was profiled by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Mark has twice won the SPE-CAD RETEC Best Paper Award. He has been involved in high performance materials with various technical, sales and marketing roles for over 25 years and has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Saint Louis University and an MBA from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. His favorite color is blue.

Click here to view the pre-recorded webinar and download the slides.

PRESS RELEASE: The Shepherd Color Company Announces Their Newest Addition to the NTP Yellow Product Portfolio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(CINCINNATI, OH, April 18, 2019) Shepherd Color is excited to announce the newest addition to their NTP Yellow product portfolio, NTP Yellow 10G155. This new product brings the outstanding color, opacity, and durability that people have seen in NTP Yellow, but further expands the durable color envelope to new applications.

Paint and coatings chemists, formulators, and color matchers face many challenges and options for coloring in the yellow color space. A wide range of pigment chemistries are available with different levels of opacity, durability, chromaticity, and economics. These four properties are often antagonistic to each other, forcing a compromise on two or more of these key properties. At the same time, historical pigments like lead chromate are facing increasing regulatory pressure and are being formulated out of products.

The yellow color space has a wide range of pigment options that have a balance of chromaticity, opacity and durability. The new NTP Yellow (PY227) brings bright chromatic color, high opacity, and excellent durability all at the same time. This has lead a plastics engineer to call it ‘bullet-proof” colorant. To complement the NTP Yellow, improvements of the RTZ Orange (PY216) yield a true orange color unto itself, but also allows the addition of “a* value” or redness to color matches without compromising weathering or heat stability.

Color matches that used to depend on blends of organic and inorganic pigments can now be matched with all inorganic pigments for the ultimate in durability and a true expansion of the durable color envelope.

The NTP Yellow and RTZ Orange are compatible with a wide range of polymers in coatings and plastics for use in a wide range of applications, such as:

  • Pre-painted coil and extrusion
  • Engineering polymers
  • Laminates and co-extrusions
  • Powder coatings
  • Architectural and façade coatings

Shepherd Color’s newest addition to their NTP Yellow product portfolio, NTP Yellow 10G155, brings the outstanding color, opacity, and durability that people have seen in NTP Yellow, but in a color shade closer to red-shade bismuth vanadate (PY184) pigments. It has higher heat stability and excellent weathering properties. Other key features of Yellow 10G155 include: inertness to acids, bases, solvent and UV, no chromium or lead in the formulation, halogen-free, and non-warping in polyolefins.

To learn more about NTP Yellow 10G155 or request a sample, please use the following form and a representative will be in touch with you.

You may also find other colors from our product portfolio here.

 

ABOUT THE SHEPHERD COLOR COMPANY
Founded in 1981, The Shepherd Color Company produces a wide range of high-performance Complex Inorganic Color Pigments (CICPs) used in a variety of industries. These pigments are an extraordinary class of inorganic pigments that offer stable, long-lasting color for many applications. They have unbeatable weatherability, heat and chemical resistance, are non-warping and easy to disperse. More Expertise. Better Performance. Best Value. That’s Shepherd Color.

Media Contact:
Mark Ryan, Marketing Manager
513.874.0714
mryan@shepherdcolor.com