New natural colourants can be part of a bigger ‘natural’ story, says PolyOne

PolyOne used the PCD cosmetics packaging show in Paris, France, this week as a springboard not only to launch its OnColor Naturals range of colourants derived from plants and minerals but also to emphasise how these additives can be advantageously combined with other materials such as sugarcane-derived biopolymers.

The new colourants are formulated using a range of plant, flower, root and mineral extracts, and were especially well-received by visitors to the show from the cosmetics and personal care sector, said PolyOne.

Demonstrating the newly-moulded bottles on the company stand, marketing communications manager for Europe Naomi Bennett explained to Plastics in Packaging how a textured or speckled effect can be achieved in tandem with OnColor Naturals.  “This effect can be created using nutshell pieces, and with the visual effect made more or less prominent depending on the product needs,” she said.

“It’s easy to imagine these colourants being used with polylactide (PLA) or other biopolymers,” said Bennett. “We’d encourage people to go down this route.” But she emphasised that the new range could equally well be used with standard polymers and recycled plastics.

The company explained that it would be especially pleased to see customers combining OnColor Naturals with its reSound range of polymers with sugarcane-derived content.

Regarding the use of natural pigments, Bennett said that this could complement the more widespread use of ‘natural’ and bio-derived ingredients in cosmetic and personal care product formulations. “Brands increasingly want the packaging to follow the product, and to be able to say they pay the same attention to the packaging around it,” she stated. “Using natural colourants is a nice story to be able to tell.”

As well as rigid plastics, the OnColor Naturals range can also be applied to films, including shrink films, PolyOne pointed out. The more vivid botanical pigments can be combined with the calmer tones of the mineral-derived colours to achieve the required shades.