Different methods to colour plastics for products and packaging: Our Guide

By Anita Jaynes on 21 September, 2021

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Plastic is one of the most popular materials for many types of products and packaging, particularly in the food and drink market. 

There are a variety of different types of plastic out there and equally many methods that are used to colour plastic packaging and products. Each of these colouring processes has both its benefits and drawbacks. It’s important that you understand how these methods work, which will make it easier for you to select the method that is the most suitable to use for your business. There are also a number of different suppliers across the UK that you will be able to reach out to and discuss your order with. 

It is likely that you will maintain contact with the companies throughout the whole process in order to ensure they are matching your expectations for how you want your items or packaging to look. Colour matches will also be carried out, which means that you can choose the pigments used during the colouring process that may include various special effects.

Masterbatches

Colour Masterbatch involves mixing concentrated pigments together under heat. These will then be placed into a binder and create granules that will then make your end-product. This is arguably the most popular method of colouring plastics.This family-run business which specialises in masterbatching and pigment dispersion have said on their blog that the great things about it include that it requires less product to reach your desired colour and there’s also much less risk of colour contamination than other methods. 

Precoloured Resins

Resins that need high masterbatches benefit from this way of plastic colouring because the pigments are entirely combined to form a polymer (polymerised) into a resin package and, additionally, it is used by moulders as it has been supplied. This method is ideal to use for companies who are not experienced in custom colour matches and is a fast way of getting the desired colour. 

Cube Blends 

Lastly, this method involves a masterbatch that has been dry blended with natural polymers. This is often used by those who don’t have metering equipment, which can be required when other methods are used. For this reason, this method can prove to be quite popular as metering equipment might be expensive to some companies or they might not have the space required to store it in. In addition, it is conducted by experts through the process of self-blending, which means the whole process is carefully controlled while ensuring that there are no inconsistencies during the colouring process. The benefit of using this method is the polymer stays solid, so the cube blends keep their original properties.

Conclusion

The colour of your products and packaging can influence consumer purchases. As such, you need to make sure that you choose the best plastic colouring practice to create the right shade. These methods of colouring plastics all have their pros and cons, which means that it is important to evaluate which method will be the best to use to colour particular products and packaging. You should make sure you do some additional research on this to ensure the best outcome for your products or get in touch with a supplier if you want to know more.