WEBINAR: IR Pigment Technology for Improving Food Package Recycling

We are excited to announce our latest webinar is now LIVE in our Virtual Showroom! ‘IR Pigment Technology for Improving Food Package Recycling‘ reviews the advantages of replacing carbon black in plastics with IR black pigments. We launched our Virtual Showroom in March with ‘Ultra High Performance Yellow and Orange Pigments‘, introducing of our newest color in our easy-dispersing Dynamix® range, Bismuth Vanadate Yellow (30C133).

While browsing, try and find all the sounds we’ve hidden throughout the room.  Once you have found them, you can register to win a Shepherd Color prize! Before you leave, please take our survey by clicking on Frosty’s portrait (our Arctic mascot) to tell us what topics you would like us to cover in future webinars.

Visit Virtual Showroom Now >


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PRESS RELEASE: Shepherd Color Announces New Sales Office in China – Shepherd Color

Shepherd Color Featured in April 2021 Issue of Plastics In Packaging – Shepherd Color

Shepherd Color Featured in March/April 2021 European Coatings


Shepherd Color Featured in April 2021 Issue of Plastics In Packaging

In the April 2021 issue of Plastics in Packaging, ‘In Pursuit of Purity,’ Noli Dinkovski reports the development of new and innovative products and technologies to overcome the the shortage of quality raw materials in the recycled PET market. As more and more companies increase their sustainability efforts, the article reviews why these technologies are important. Read the article here.

To review the entire April edition, visit the Plastics in Packaging website at


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Shepherd Color Featured in March/April 2021 European Coatings

Shepherd Color Featured in February 2021 CoatingsTech Article

Shepherd Color Featured in January 2021 CoatingsTech Article


Black plastic: listed or blacklisted?

(Excerpt from Plastics in Packaging November 2019 Issue) The colour black in food and other types of consumer packaging has become a hotly-contested topic, given the challenges with carbon black in identifying the base polymer for recycling. Paul Gander looks at some of the alternative strategies.

While the majority of plastics packaging might be said to have a ‘visibility’ problem, which counts against it in the eyes of many consumers and much of the media, with black plastics this is more of an ‘invisibility’ problem.

Whether the packaging is black or a dark containing the same colourant, the challenge is that carbon black can render the item undetectable by near-infrared (NIR) identification systems, typically used in materials recovery facilities (MRFs) around the world. As a result, this stream has frequently been inaccurately described as ‘unrecyclable’.

In the UK especially, this is one plastics-related issue that predates the BBC Blue Planet 2 marine wildlife series, as business development manager at Faerch Plast UK Ruth Price explains. “Even before then, there was a lot of media attention given to the way black plastics were not being recycled,” she says. “That in turn was putting pressure on the use of black trays, even though they are recyclable.”

Are black plastics just a UK problem? At The Shepherd Color Company in the US, marketing manager Mark Ryan says it is now on its fifth generation of IR blacks, developed over some 40 years. But applications to date have principally been in vinyl for outdoor use requiring solar reflectivity. Those same properties make the additives ideal for IR reflectivity.

Following Europe’s lead, the issue of black plastics packaging and recycling is starting to come to the fore in the US, says Ryan. He highlights the boom in food delivery services in the US where, he says, providers will often use black plastics for their meals.

More broadly, he says: “Recycling rates in the US are so much lower, generally, than in Europe. Any initiative that helps has to be good.”


Read the entire article here and learn more about Shepherd Color’s Arctic Black 10P925, a product optimized for IR sorting in plastics.

PRESS RELEASE: Shepherd Color Announces New IR Black for Recycling of Black Plastic

(CINCINNATI, OH, June 17, 2020) It seems that the Shepherd Color’s R&D team is at it again. ‘Creating Value, Brightening Lives’ has long been the Core Value of The Shepherd Color Company. The R&D Team has their pulse on the coatings and plastics industries to understand the needs of their customers: to create quality, innovative products, which bring value to not only their customers, but to the sustainability of the environment.

One such product is a cost-effective IR Black colorant for packaging that can reflect IR wavelengths in recycling sorting facilities, so these plastics may be recycled. Black is a popular color used for plastic packaging, which is mostly carbon black pigment. The carbon black pigmentation absorbs the light from the emitter used in plastic sorting centers, which prevents the sensor from identifying the polymer used, so the material is then rejected and not recycled (see illustration below).

Shepherd Color has spent the last 40 years developing, optimizing, and manufacturing IR Black pigments. Based on the new balance of properties needed for the recycling application, they were able to design, prototype and scale up an IR Black pigment to meet this new need. This IR Black pigment advancement is Arctic® Black 10P925. The pigment is optimized for infrared sorting of plastics and has the following characteristics:

  • Jet masstone color
  • Non-magnetic
  • Survives multiple extrusions
  • Single pigment solution
  • Widely listed on chemical registries for global supply
  • Food packaging compliance in key EU market

Black 10P925 is not only excellent for coloring plastic articles used for producing, packaging and transporting food, but can be used in other coatings as well. This new pigment is an example of Shepherd Color’s R&D expertise in developing products that provide unique tools to solve the challenges of customers in the coatings and plastics industries. To request a sample, receive technical data, or find other regulatory information, visit our Find Colors page.


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.