1. The World of Eco-Friendly Ink
The printing industry is growing by leaps and bounds. As we move towards a more eco-
friendly environment, several changes and advancements are being made. One of those
changes is the development and usage of eco-friendly inks. By switching to eco-friendly
ink, we still get the high printing quality without the harmful additives found in
By using traditional printing cleaners, inks and additives, we are contributing to the
constant pollution that is emitted from printing businesses. Not to mention many of these
chemical and petroleum based solutions are harmful to the health of those using them. By
choosing more eco-friendly versions, businesses can not only save money but also protect
themselves, their employees and the environment. Many printers are switching to eco-
friendly inks. Some of the eco-friendly inks and companies that make eco-friendly inks
used today include:
• Hybrid System Ink – This ink requires no heat to cure it.
• Soy Based Ink – Unlike petroleum based ink, soy is relatively clear in color. This
results in a higher reaction to pigment which results in brighter; more vivid colors.
In addition soy based inks do not release excessive emissions into the air when
• Flint Ink – Based in Detroit, Michigan, they market Agri-Tek® which is a
vegetable based line of inks. Their inks are made up of a 40% blend of soybean
and corn oil. This allows for fast-set drying.
• Sun Chemical – Based in Northlake, Illinois, they have a lined of vegetable
based inks called Naturalith Plus®. This is 50% vegetable based ink that has a
lower VOC (volatile organic compounds) content and increased press mileage.
These inks are traditional sheet fed – offset inks that can be utilized on a variety
• Gans Ink & Supply – Based in Los Angeles, California, they are well known for
their Soy Plus® ink which is derived from soybean oil. Nut oil is added to these
inks to enhance the setting speed.
2. • Apparel Water-Based Ink – These inks used on clothing produce really soft
prints and are one of the most eco-friendly inks out there for this form of printing.
They are translucent and spread more in printing.
• UV Ink – This is an ink that is cured by ultraviolet (UV) light and not through the
typical oxidation (air) method. While the color is not as sharp or as vibrant as
traditional ink, UV ink does offer a crisper look. UV inks are not absorbed like
traditional inks are. They have been shown however to be 99.5% VOC free.
• Eco Solvent Ink – This ink is predominantly odor free and water resistant for up
to three years outdoors. It does not contain harmful solvents or VOC’s, it does not
require ventilation, and it comes in a wide range of colors.
The printing industry is standing up and taking notice when it comes to printing with inks
that are safe for our environment and safe for us all. While eco-friendly inks may be
slightly higher in some cases than traditional ink, companies save money in the long run
when it comes to cleanup and disposal costs. So eco-friendly ink should be taken into
consideration when you want to provide quality and make a difference to the world we