Major markets are military, aviation, automotive, textiles, and cosmetics industries.
Clear, bright colors can be achieved readily with dyes, whereas pigments, which are solids, are better used for deep, saturated, opaque or translucent colors. Organic colorants, both dyes and pigments, are increasingly displacing inorganic materials use, particularly those relying on heavy metals such as cadmium or lead chromates.
Additionally, special effect systems, green technology, and new additive systems provide the plastics industry with continuously expanding options for color and aesthetic solutions. Recent developments are the result of collaboration between color scientists and processors to accomplish appearance effects in fabricated products impossible with colorants alone. Innovative color combinations, additives, and polymers create new effects that convey the range of visuals including texture, reflectivity, luster, gloss, frost, and softness.
Additives, including colorants, for bioplastics are being researched. Colorants that have no negative effect on health or the environment and do not compromise bioplastics' compliance with compost and recycling standards are the goal. Traditional pigments and bio-derived colorants based on plants and other renewable materials that can be used in biopolymers are available from multiple companies.