PETinsights 3_22


Chroma Color’s NIR Sortable Black Technology passes APR test protocol for NIR Sorting

1:14 min Additives
McHenry, Illinois, United States

Chroma Color has developed a specialized formulation path to solving the need for colorant alternatives to Carbon Black as a means to address the recycling of black or dark colors in packaging for improved environmental sustainability.

Chroma Color’s alternative recipes allow the MRF sorting operations to identify and successfully sort the plastic articles according to the APR NIR Sorting Potential of a Whole Plastic Article. The leading third-party independent lab P.T.I. of Holland, Ohio, conducted all testing and analysis.

Chroma Color’s NIR Sortable Black Technology is based upon IR reflecting/transparent components using a proprietary combination of specialty dyes and organic pigments. The Chroma Color path to success allows for expanded exploration of additional Black options, including near-Black and other Dark Color families.

Chroma Color's NIR testing basics:

  • The following packages were evaluated using the APR test method: Near Infrared (NIR) Sorting Potential of a Whole Plastic Article (Sort-B-01).
  •  A total of five recipes were tested using bottles made by extrusion blow molding.
  •  Three carbon black free formulations were tested in HDPE and One in PP.
  •  One control formula with carbon black was included.

Chroma Color's NIR results:

  • Four Carbon Black Free recipes passed with 100% sortation.
  • As anticipated, the one control formula with carbon black failed with 0% sortation.
  • A leading independent lab PTI of Holland, OH, tested the plastic articles.

About Chroma Color's NIR options:

Chroma Color’s “NIR Sortable Black” products, referred to as are available in a variety of resins that include the most commonly used packaging resins, polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, ABS, and PET.

Key features of this color system:

  • Inert, heat stable, non-migratory
  • Can be used in a variety of polymers
  • FDA Compliant


(Photo credit: Chroma Color)

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