Recently, masterbatch producer AF-Color, a branch of Germany-based AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH, successfully completed Vinçotte certification of its AF-Eco product range, thereby earning the "OK compost" seal. AF-Color will bear the certification number S467. This milestone achievement represents an important expansion of the coloring options available for compostable bioplastics.
Technically speaking, coloring compostable bioplastic materials presents few challenges. What has been the main problem up to now is finding colorants that do not affect compostability of the material, as defined in the European Standard EN 13432. This standard specifies, among other things, that a compostable material must be biodegradable, but also that the content of non-biodegradable filler materials may not exceed a maximum of 5%, or 1% for each individual filler material. The heavy-metal content, primarily in packaging applications, is also regulated within this standard.