Green Printing Part II – Inks

So, you’ve been mulling over the green issue for your printing and you’ve managed to get a favourable price on FSC approved paper but is that enough?

To be even more environmentally friendly you may want to ask about the inks that are used on your printing.

Traditional printing uses inks that are petroleum based and are used with alcohol based solvents. As they evaporate, they release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs not only damage the environment by creating ozone pollution (or greenhouse gas), they can also contaminate soil and groundwater, when sent to landfill.

So you may want to consider soya or vegetable-based inks as these have a much lower rate of VOC emissions. It won’t be a surprise therefore, to know that de-inking of vegetable based inks for recycling is much easier.

One other thing – if you use metallic or fluorescent based inks, you might want to re-think that decision, they contain pigments which can be damaging to the environment and to human health such as cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury.

So, next time you are ready to place your order for printing on your environmentally friendly paper – don’t forget to ask about the inks.

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