Sustainable Black Pigments

Shepherd Color Featured in November Edition of Compounding World

Jennifer Markarian reports on why pigment developers are seeking more sustainable products, particularly sustainable black pigments, whether for emission reduction, ease of processing, or to simplify recycling. A short excerpt is below from her article “Sustainable Pigments in Black and White”. Read the entire article here.

A great number of plastics applications depend upon black or white pigments as their primary colorant or as a component of their colour formulation, with critical characteristics including tint strength and regulatory clearances. Increasingly, however, users are also exploring sustainability characteristics, which can include the energy required to make the pigment or to use it in a compound as well as whether it can be sorted in expected recycling streams. One of the recent challenges for conventional carbon black pigments, for example, has been around concerns that they absorb near infrared (NIR) wavelengths, interfering with one of the key detection technologies used in some automated recycling sorting equipment.

“The overall issue of sustainability is a major concern up and down the supply chain,” says Mark Ryan, Market and Product Manager at Shepherd Color. He says the company is addressing sustainability in pigment production, as well as how each pigment affects the sustainability of the material that it is incorporated into. “We are looking at how our products can improve sustainability through favourable life cycle analysis due to long service lives, inherent problem-solving properties like infrared (IR) reflectivity, and other properties,” he says.

Shepherd Color’s NIR-detectable black pigments for recyclable packaging are Shepherd Color Black 10F925, with a darker masstone colour, and Black 10F951, which is said to be optimised for tinting mid-tone colours or previously coloured PCR material. Both have FDA food contact notification.

Read the entire article here.

Learn more about Shepherd Color pigments at the links below.

The Future of Recycling Black Plastic Packaging

Shepherd Color Featured in March/April Edition of Plastics Engineering

Shepherd Color Featured in April Edition of Eco-Plastics in Packaging