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Use of eco-friendly inks on corrugated packaging

UK based Weedon PSC claims to be the country’s first manufacturer of corrugated packaging to use predominantly natural printing inks.

UK based Weedon PSC claims to be the country’s first manufacturer of corrugated packaging to use predominantly natural printing inks. The company has been awarded exclusive rights to print RRP and POS displays using Earthinks, a new range of environmentally friendly, water based flexographic and screen printing inks made from up to 80% natural materials.

Earthinks have been developed by Solar Inks from sustainable and non-polluting resources including soy, starch, sugars, dextrin, tree resin, cellulose and other polysaccharides. Natural waxes are used to replace standard petroleum based synthetics, and natural oils are used to defoam instead of mineral oils. Earthinks are glycol and silicone-free, contain no heavy metals and have near-zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).

Colour and quality are said to be as good with Earthinks – and in some cases better than synthetic and oil based inks – and prices are comparable, but these inks significantly reduce the impact on the environment.

Excellent performance is also claimed for the new inks. They are said to have a low viscosity and low foaming levels to deliver sharp images with lower dot gain than standard inks. They also offer stability over long runs due to their novel pH-independent technology. In-house colour mixing is also an option for special colour production on demand, and an ink recycling programme saves waste.

While Weedon PSC has exclusivity in corrugated, Earthinks can be used on other substrates to enable brand-owners to carry their environmental credentials across their entire range of packaging.

Weedon PSC will work with Solar Inks to develop the inks further. The two companies have set up an ink laboratory at Weedon’s site in Hednesford, where they will look at issues including enhancing colour and coverage and usage for different products such as on packaging to be used in wet, cold and dry environments.

www.weedonpsc.com