The transition to ecological printing inks for packaging represents another step towards a general sustainable approach to business, which protects the environment and human health.
Environmental ink (or eco-inks) for packaging are formulated to be free of harmful substances, so with their use we have drasticall reduction of the potential danger to the environment and people.
However, this inks are more expensive than conventional ones, they also require changes to the production processes when they are in use, which means an increase in the producer’s costs, so that is why where there is no legal obligation, they are not widely used.
The use of ecological inks in the production of cardboard packaging and labels has a number of positive effects on the environment and society.
Here are a few reasons why this is important:
Reduction of the harmful impact on the environment
Conventional packaging inks often contain harmful chemicals, such as heavy metals and organic compounds, which can pollute water and soil when their packaging is discarded.
Eco-friendly inks are formulated with less or no of these hazardous ingredients, which reduces their negative impact on the ecosystem.
Reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions
Conventional inks can contain high concentrations of VOCs that are released into the atmosphere during drying and gluing.
These fumes contribute to air pollution, creating harmful substances such as ozone and smog.
Eco-inks contains less or no VOCs, reducing emissions and improving air quality.
Better protection of employees and consumers
When conventional ink containing toxic substances are used, production employees and consumers may be exposed to harmful fumes and contamination of food or beverages that come into contact with the packaging.
The use of ecological inks reduces the risk of these health problems.
Biodegradability and recyclability
Eco-inks are often formulated to be biodegradable or recyclable.
When used on packaging, they facilitate the process of recycling or decomposing of the material after use.
This is important because packaging often ends up in landfills or in nature.
The use of ecological inks helps to reduce the overall impact of packaging on the environment.
There are packaging printing inks that can be easily removed or facilitate the recycling process. These inks are called “detachment inks”.
They have characteristics that allow them to be easily separated from the packaging during the recycling process, thus facilitating recycling and obtaining better quality recycled material.
Here are some types of detachment inks used in the packaging industry:
Water-soluble packaging inks: These inks dissolve in water and are easily washed off during the recycling process.
They can be effective for packaging that will be subjected to water recycling.
Thermal release inks for packaging: These inks are formulated so that they can be easily separated from the packaging under the influence of heat.
For example, during the recycling process, the packaging heats up and the ink separates from the surface of the packaging, facilitating the recycling process.
Laser-removable inks for packaging: These inks contain special pigments that react to laser radiation.
During the packaging recycling process, a laser is used to activate the pigments, which causes the ink to separate from the packaging.
It is important to note that the implementation of these types of inks may depend on the specific requirements of packaging, industry standards and the availability of appropriate technologies in production processes.
When using eco-friendly printing inks, packaging manufacturers promote sustainable production.
Sustainability includes the reduction of raw materials, energy and water and the reduction of generated waste.
Eco-friendly inks can be part of this effort to reduce the negative impact of packaging production on the environment.
The use of eco-inks in the production of packaging encourages sustainable practices in the industry and increases consumer awareness of the importance of environmentally responsible products.
Consumers prefer environmentally friendly products
Environmental awareness is increasing among consumers, and many of them prefer sustainable and environmentally friendly products.
Using eco-friendly inks on packaging can attract such consumers and improve brand perception.
Improving the brand image
Companies that use eco-friendly inks in their packaging can improve their image and attract environmentally conscious consumers who prefer products that are less harmful to the environment.
The use of ecological inks in the production of packaging contributes to the preservation of the environment, improves people’s health and promotes sustainability.
It is a step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally responsible society.