Finding an Eco-friendly Ink Path
In-plants interested in incorporating sustainable practices into the pressroom have a number of choices when it comes to ink. To help you sort them out, Joe Bendowski, president of Van Son Holland Ink Corp. of America, offers these descriptions of what is available:
• Vegetable-based ink is made with vegetable oil, such as soybean or corn oil, as a substitute for petroleum or mineral oils. Vegetable-based inks significantly reduce the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) released into the air during printing.
• Using UV inks is another sustainable practice to consider. The ink is a two-part acrylic epoxy where the first part is the ink itself with receptors that are activated by the second part—the UV light. UV inks contain little or no solvents and therefore do not emit significant VOCs.
• Waterless printing uses computer-to-plate technology and silicon plates to eliminate chemicals and water completely from the printing process. Waterless printing can help to reduce waste materials and ink consumption, making it yet another eco-friendly option for a print provider.
Having an ink recycling program in place is another important consideration when taking steps toward sustainable practices. One common technique is the blending of various left-over ink colors to produce black inks, a practice that can be done in-house. You can also coordinate ink recycling with other companies in your area or find a recycling service provider to dispose of waste ink.
Whatever you do to add sustainable practices into your business model, you will be contributing to a better planet and improving the environment we live and work in. For any business, that is a good thing.