What are eco-friendly inks?

What are eco-friendly inks?

Even though the print industry continues to grow there is one critical change. Printing specialists, business owners, and consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, and that translates to their printing habits. For example, paper may be on the up but people want to know that they are using sustainable paper that isn’t harming the environment.

This sense of environmental responsibility applies also to the type of ink used to print. While traditional inks often emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) which can be both a health hazard to print works and a pollutant to the ozone, eco-friendly inks do nothing of the kind.

There are various different kinds of environmentally-friendly inks, below are just a few of the most common:

  • UV ink: This curable screen printing ink is a 100 per cent solid system. That means it doesn’t contain solvent that evaporates throughout the curing phase. The cure instead takes place as a result of the interaction of the ink ingredients with a strong ultraviolet (UV) light. Known as a photomechanical process, there is almost no absorption of the ink into the paper stock.
  • Soy-based ink: Made from soybeans as opposed to petroleum-based ink, soy ink is more environmentally friendly while still providing a wide range of accurate colours. It also makes it easier to recycle paper. This type of ink is rising in popularity as corporate sustainability becomes more mainstream.
  • Eco-solvent ink: This is a form of non-water-based ink made from ether extracts taken from refined mineral oil; also known as soft or mild ink, it has a slow dry time and needs multiple heaters in the printer. It is predominantly door-free and water resistant and does not contain harmful solvents or VOCs.

When it comes to environmental measures, the print industry has been taking real notice in the last few years. Here at Hague, our strategic partners hold the FCS/PEFC certification, which means our operations have been rigorously inspected and certified in the audit trail of tree to printed product.

Both our paper products, from promotional print to operational print, and our inks are made sustainably and we carry out work to reduce VOCs while working to reduce our waste. Each project is individually assessed so that we can work out how to complete it in the most environmentally-sound way.

Get in touch to speak to us about your print project and let’s work together to print more sustainably and work towards wider spread use of eco-friendly inks and sustainable paper sources.

Fill in our enquiry form here and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.