INK for the thriving Circular Print & Packaging industry
Retailers are looking for Sustainable Circular Print & Package Suppliers
In this post:
Project Gigaton [ gig-uh-tuhn ] – Walmart,
new circular economy Ink business, Older Ink companies find their way,
Inks with Cradle to Cradle certification, from the printer’s point of view, And then there is Algae Ink™ ,
BUSINESSES are working together, for Digital Printing, DIY Refill Kit / Bulk Ink
…a list at the bottom of other posts about the Printing & Packaging Industry
Let us look at sustainable Ink, paper and equipment innovations from the retailer point of view. As one of the biggest, if Walmart thinks it is important for their business, most retailers will.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) is one of the world’s largest retailers by a substantial margin. It operates 11,453 store locations in 27 countries. Most of the company’s store locations worldwide operating under the Walmart brand. However, the company also operates a number of other retail chains around the world, in the United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan. It also has 2.2 million workers, which is nearly x4 the number of employees that Amazon.com (tied for the biggest retailer worldwide) has on payroll. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/122415/worlds-top-10-retailers-wmt-cost.asp
Through Project Gigaton, suppliers can get credit from Walmart for the progress you make. Since the program was introduced in 2017, hundreds of Walmart suppliers have gotten on board by committing to reduce emissions of some kind. Collectively, we’ve made great progress, but there is still a long way to go.
There are just three steps to participate in Project Gigaton:
>Step One: Set a Goal – Work within your organization to set an emissions reduction goal; all goals should be SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Limited
>Step Two: Sign Up – Visit the Walmart Sustainability Hub, where you can join us, and add and update your goals
>Step Three: Bank Your Impact (data collection) – Report your goal’s impact each year and get recognition for your progress; this year. Results should be reported through your Project Gigaton account each year. More information on the annual survey questions can be found in pillar pages below
The goal you set is up to you – we welcome goals big, small, old and new, so please identify the right target for your organization and join us: Energy, Waste, *Packaging, Agriculture, Forests, Product Use and Design, Other Emissions goals
Your company should commit to a goal specific to any or all of these areas:
1) optimize design,
2) source sustainably or
3) support recycling.
Walmart has specific goals focused on our private brand packaging and we recommend all suppliers review Walmart’s Zero Plastic Waste Aspiration when setting a Project Gigaton goal.
For example, you could submit a goal to:
>>Design – recyclability for 100 percent of packaging by 2025.
>>Increase use of recycled content or bio-based materials (such as INK) of 20% by 2025.
>>Lessen the weight of your packaging by 10 percent by 2020.
>>Switch to reusable packaging containers (RPCs) – reduce damages by 20 percent by 2019.
The above goals are illustrative examples only and by no means the only goal style that could be submitted as part of Project Gigaton – you’ll need to determine the scope, timeline and type of goal that makes sense for your company and products. Formal, specific goals lead to substantially better returns and are an important part of being eligible to be recognized by Walmart; so, when setting a new goal, make sure it’s SMART. SMART goals are:
Specific – what’s your impact area?
Measurable – can you measure progress?
Achievable – is this a reasonable goal?
Relevant – does this fit into your strategy?
Time limited – by when?
After joining Project Gigaton, you’ll be asked to report on your progress every year so the impact can be recognized and attributed toward the Project Gigaton target.
click to the packaging page and then roll down to: Practical guidance on setting up a packaging goal
click to the packaging page and then roll down to: How will you calculate and report emissions saved each year?
For additional information about Project Gigaton, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or Project Gigaton Accounting Methodology.
Packaging is a big part of Walmart’s Project Gigaton.
Walmart is working with approximately 6,000 of its suppliers, which represent about 60 percent of the company’s sales, to participate and incorporate and affect Walmart’s buying decisions across more than 700 categories.
May I remind you that sustainable suppliers can reap some very good benefits from filling the requirements of large buyers.
So, what about INK
Inks return to vegetable oils
The 1994 Vegetable Ink Printing Act of Congress. This bill mandated that printers with government contracts use vegetable oil-based inks instead of petroleum-based inks. The act was designed to reduce emissions from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). In addition the vegetable based inks are easier to “de-ink”. This is especially important for recycling paper.
(30 years of Human disruption) BACKGROUND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH ISSUES
Before the 1960s, agri-based inks made from vegetable oils were commonplace for all printing applications. The advent of cheaper, better-performing petroleum-based inks pushed them aside, yet this market domination came at a cost both to the environment and the health of print shop workers. Today, fortunately, the return of viable agri-based inks addresses both concerns. Most newly reformulated agri-based inks can perform just as well as their more dangerous and environmentally-harmful petroleum counterparts.
Some reminders about vegetable-based ink?
First, we need to understand the composition of most inks. Inks require colorants (i.e. pigments or dyes), additives that help improve performance on the press, and the vehicle or carrier medium for the other elements. The vehicle can be water, solvent, or oil based. The first inks were derived from natural, plant-based sources. By the early 1970s, the supply of vegetable oils was limited so manufacturers used petroleum products. Today, synthetic products have surpassed vegetable-based alternatives, but environmentally conscious manufacturers and consumers are turning the tide.
Common oils used in vegetable-based inks are soy, linseed (flax), canola, and safflower. Soybean and linseed oil are the two most prominent. Each type of oil comes with its own advantages; for example, soybean oil is relatively clear so it can provide more vivid colors than petroleum-based oils. Vegetable-based inks often employ a blend of oils to maximize quality and minimize drying times.
A new circular economy Ink business…..
from now into the future
of natural thinking
Founded in 2004, our clients tell us we are now the best performing and most sustainable Inks, Coatings and Adhesive products possible for the packaging industry. Products that fulfill the requirements of brand owners and printer vendors alike.
Our desire is to not only make the most natural products possible but to demonstrate that sustainability and brand enhancement go hand in hand.
Older Ink companies are finding their way…..
INXhrc™ Natural-Based Inks
INX International’s commitment to providing sustainable product solutions can help printers and brand owners achieve sustainability goals and help consumers feel confident in their product choices.
INXhrc high-performance inks, for example, are formulated to replace petrochemically derived ingredients with clean, renewable, and sustainable ingredients without sacrificing machine, processing, and end-use product performance. Brand owners and printers benefit from reduced regulatory risk and measurable, reportable CO2 savings.
# High-performance inks developed specifically for all packaging applications including food and certified safe in the US, Europe, and Asia
# Reduced regulatory risk by replacing petrochemically ingredients with clean, and sustainable raw materials
# Free of nanomaterials, fluorochemicals, fanal pigments, heavy metals, or PTFE
# Better on-press performance without compromising color or application performance
Superior Printing Ink Co., Inc. was founded in 1918, and rapidly became known for accurate color matching and “get-it-there-no-matter-what” delivery, Our ability to color match, quickly and precisely, continues to set us apart from our customers. Our motto “Modern Technology/Old Fashioned Service” truly describes our company. Keeping up with the developments in the printing industry here are 2 of our most recent offerings:
BIO INTENSE – Bio Intense is an innovation in environmentally responsible sheetfed ink technology that delivers superb lithographic performance and print quality with extremely low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Bio Intense sets a new industry benchmark for green formulation technology using high percentages of bio-derived, renewable materials and is environmentally responsible technology for printers looking to operate a greener pressroom.
BI0LOCITY – Biolocity’s extremely low VOC content is formulated with 23% or more vegetable oils, does not contain petroleum-derived ink solvents and contains a minimum of 60% bio-derived, renewable and sustainable materials.
There are inks that are Cradle to Cradle certified:
Green4Print has Gold and Silver level Cradle to Cradle certification. They produce Process, Panetone and Flexo Inks, varnishes and cleaning solutions.
In 2012, Green4Print was established by Prof. Jack Baarends, the company Eco-point and other interested entrepreneurs. From establishment Green4Print is tested by multiple independent institutions and possesses different certificates for low migration, quality of color, health and compostability. One of these certifications is Cradle-to-Cradle. Green4print clearly has a pioneer role in the graphics industry. They pursue ongoing sustainable product development of health and safety for the consumer and the people who work in printing houses. Of course, this is all without affecting the quality of the product and its printing properties. Besides being fully sustainable, Green4Print’s inks also have economical advantages.
Green4Print is completely free of soy- and vegetable oil. We choose to do so, because it has a positive impact on biodiversity. This is a demand of Cradle-to-Cradle to deal with the issues in the supply chain. We will never use resources gained by deforestation or other ways of destroying nature.
Flint Group has Bronze level products. If you search in their site for the word: PLANET, you will find 5 ink or varnish products, each of which include at least one Cradle2Cradle certified version. Their website shows a lot of information about their sustainability activities. But I find that there is nothing suggesting that they have continued their efforts since 2016. Their product portfolio spans printing inks, digital printing presses, blankets, pressroom chemistry, flexographic plates and sleeves, consumables and colourants. They have locations worldwide, employing ~ 7,900 worldwide with a sparse visibility in Africa and the middle east.
from the printer’s point of view……………………..
Greenerprinter’s Inks and the Environment
Greenerprinter uses soy and other vegetable-based inks which are less harmful to the environment than their petroleum-based counterparts.
Soy and vegetable based inks are widely recognized as the environmentally friendly choice. But an ink’s ingredients are only part of the story when measuring its environmental impact. Ink, like any other product manufactured by humans, impacts our planet before, during, and after it’s manufactured. Almost as important as the manufacture and use of vegetable inks is the recycle and reuse programs implemented by the printer. Anything a printer does to steer materials away from landfills is of environmental benefit. In this area, Greenerprinter goes by the following criteria:
**We tightly control our inventory – ordering only as much ink as we need.
**We recycle unused inks.
**We specify “low VOC” or “vegetable based inks” rather than only soy. Some inks are actually lower in VOC than soy.
And then there is Algae Ink™
Catalyzing Commercialization: Engineering Algae Cells for Biobased and Renewable Pigments August, 2019 Several large corporate brands are searching for sustainable materials to produce eco-friendly packaging, including printing ink. Globally, packaging ink makes up $8 billion of the overall $20 billion printing ink market.
Ink is approximately 80% base and 20% pigments. The base can be made of water, petroleum, soy oil, and other solvents. The pigments are made from finite inorganic chemicals and petroleum.
Traditional Carbon Black pigment
Carbon black pigment is generated by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products. Globally, 14 million tons of carbon black is produced every year, releasing over 35 million tons of CO2; carbon black has been labeled a class 2B carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
We at Living Ink are changing the way pigments are made.
Catalyzing Commercialization: Engineering Algae Cells for Biobased and Renewable Pigments
With funding from the National Science Foundation, Living Ink Technologies, a Colorado-based biotechnology startup, is developing safe and renewable pigments from algae. To make black pigment, the company processes a byproduct generated by the algae bio-products industry so that each algal cell encapsulates pigment. No extraction steps are necessary to isolate the pigment — the algal cells themselves can serve as ink.
Black pigment from algae
The resulting pigment is blacker and more resilient to ultraviolet (UV) light than traditional carbon black. And, the process is carbon negative. For 1 kg of black pigment produced from algae, 1,681 g of CO2 are sequestered. In contrast, the production of 1 kg of carbon black releases 3,750 g CO2 equivalent.
Pigment Particle Size
A hallmark of high-quality ink products is their small pigment particle size. Traditionally, carbon black pigments range from 20 nm to 1 μm. A current product target for Living Ink is the production of flexographic and offset inks. These inks make up a large part of the global ink market and are commonly used for packaging printing. For flexographic and offset ink, the pigment size must be no more than 1 μm. One reason Living Ink targeted algae for printing ink is that algae cells are approximately 1 μm in diameter. And, the company has developed downstream processes to reduce particle size to near 300 nm.
On Mon, Dec 2, 2019 at 2:43 AM Scott Fulbright <[email protected]> wrote:
Dear Ms. Woodfin,
Thank you for doing what you’re doing. I really like the info you have put together.
People can contact me if they are interested in our pigments.
We work mostly with printers, ink producers and brands.
You reached me via our contact form and you can see that we ask some optional questions that will help anyone who is interested in our pigments.
Substrate – Primary Application – Secondary Application – Current Converter/Printer
CEO & Co-Founder
BUSINESSES are working together……
We started the Healthy Printing Initiative because we wanted to get out
of this “chicken and eggs situation” where we actually have:
>Suppliers saying -well we could produce healthier and safer materials,
IF anyone asks for it.
>Buyers saying – we would buy better and more defined materials
IF anyone produced them.
We knew it was possible from both sides!
So!, We wanted to put these two groups together!
It is actually an Invitation for the suppliers to do R&D
together with clients and customers and develop
the products that we need to increase healthy print volume.
It is possible today!, we just need to scale it up! We need more of it!
So Let’s do it!
The Buyer says:
we WILL buy better Eco materials
How green is green?
Well, green is synonymous with the environment and with Carlsberg.
But ironically, green is the least environmentally friendly colour there is…….. (wait a minute! Ask LivingInks !)
So we switched the green inks on our labels to be Cradle to Cradle Certified™ at the Silver level for better recycling. All in the pursuit of creating a better tomorrow.
For a truly sustainable beer, the trick isn’t to just make the ink look greener. The trick is to make the label more recyclable.
By being the first large corporation in the world to use Cradle to Cradle Certified™ inks, we hope other corporations, companies and industries will follow suit by using more sustainable inks.
The Supplier says:
We WILL produce healthier & safer materials………….
Carlsberg, the world’s third largest brewing company, has been a satisfied Töpfer customer for 30 years. “When Carlsberg came to us with a project to print with Cradle to Cradle inks,” we told them, “Töpfer already has a Cradle to Cradle ink system in place with all the competencies needed to meet these requirements. Although Carlsberg was using another ink supplier, we convinced them to switch to hubergroup inks, because our experience has proven that these inks are not only Cradle to Cradle certified, but they comply with other technical requirements within the lifecycle of returnable labels, including ink retention, abrasion resistance, caustic soda retention and more. We had already successfully tested all these things with the hubergroup inks and have a stable process in operation.”
“We have launched a new brand ‘NatureLine’,” said Mark Töpfer, the company’s Managing Director, “under which we produce with Cradle to Cradle inks, recycled paper and completely renewable energy across the entire production process. Under this product line, we supply our customers, who want to have a sustainable labeling solution. Today, we have already 10 customers taking advantage of this brand. But simply specializing in this area is not enough. Our goal is to switch 100% of our inks to Cradle to Cradle. I personally believe that the Cradle-to-Cradle principle is definitely a system which scales to industrial volumes, and we are working to educate our customers about the benefits.”
What can we do for a more sustainable world?
An important aspect for us is recycling. For this reason, we are constantly working on improving the recyclability of our products through a careful selection of raw materials.
Currently, all of our conventional offset products for commercial printings as well as one especially developed UV offset ink are de-inkable and approved by INGEDE, the international research association for de-inking techniques. Moreover, a wide range of our gravure products for package printing are certified as Cradle to Cradle Silver and, thereby, approved bio-compatible on a high level.
and for Digital Printing
Apparently in recent years, even the Digital Printing Machine makers have tried to make their toners work better with planet Earth, in homes and offices.
In line with recent energy-saving trends, Fuji Xerox has been actively pursing technological innovations that increase the energy efficiency of widespread office multifunction devices and printers.
Toner fusion is the most power-intensive process in those devices – accounting for 50 to 80 percent of total power consumed – as instant high-temperature fusion requires a massive amount of energy. Fuji Xerox has now developed EA-Eco toner, a special toner that enables a lower fusing temperature – by more than 20℃ compared with conventional EA toner. With its viscosity sharply changing with temperature, EA-Eco toner achieves its minimum fusing temperature at 20 to 50℃ lower than conventional toner.
“Print sustainability innovations that helps protect the world’s forests, reduces carbon emissions and uses more recycled materials.
HP continues to support a circular economy with its consumer and business products, recently re-inventing its printer suite to include closed-loop recycled plastics, with HP ENVY and Tango printers comprised of 30% closed-loop recycled plastics. Introduced in 2019, HP EcoSmart Black Toner. It uses an average 21% less energy than with previous generations of HP printer systems. (In the link, you will find 5 cartridges for EcoSmart B Toner.)
HP talks at length about their Sustainability policy: Sustainable Impact Reports
There is so much to read that it feels like Greenwashing. Are they only trying to impress their investors regarding their ESG activities? How about us simple folk, who want to see transparency, but only the basic information about HP’s products. From the point of view of “Commercial and industrial graphics printing solutions” which I found under Printing >> Products and Solutions (page 117), I found “Design for Sustainability – Water-based inks” (page 119) and the following information, which is useful for a printing company who must satisfy customers that want on-going transparency information about what they purchase:
Safety compliance in sensitive applications As a leader in printing solutions and inks, we enable customers that use our PageWide Industrial and Indigo Presses and Specialty Printing Systems products to deliver robust safety compliance and transparency in sensitive applications such as food packaging, signage, and decoration. Across our graphics printing solutions business, we provide HP customers with summaries of regulatory compliance and environmental attributes. These cover dimensions such as chemical inventory status, regulated materials, emissions, human and ecological health, transportation, waste, de-inkability, suitability for special applications (such as food packaging), and recyclability.
Compostable, recyclable printing solutions
Most inks are not biodegradable or compostable, but this is increasingly important in order to meet growing demand for compostable packaging. As part of HP’s testing and certification program, HP Indigo ElectroInk underwent chemical analysis and plant toxicity tests and has been independently certified as compostable in conformance with the EN 13432 standard. In 2018, Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) of Germany verified that corrugated packaging printed with our PageWide true water-based inks is easily recyclable using standard industry technology.
DIY Refill Kit / Bulk Ink ?
Which Printer Ink Refills Can Save You the Most? If at all !
I mention this, but the reviews I found do not suggest that this is really a professional sustainable way to go……
Refill Kit / Bulk Ink
Thinking about doing a service to our environment? Try refilling your empty ink cartridges for continuing use!
Besides considering purchase of our re-manufactured and compatible printer cartridges, you could refill them with your own ink to help the environment. The refill kits for many brand name ink cartridges, such as HP, Lexmark, Canon, Epson and etc. Easy, cost-efficient and environmental friendly! (Their refill kits are from G&G.)
Re-manufactured cartridges save resources such as rubber, plastic, steel and aluminum and cost as much as 80% less than so called genuine or OEM cartridges. It’s win-win for the environment and for you.
The re-manufactured cartridges are refilled with ink to create a practically new cartridge which will give great results at a fraction of the cost – cost to the environment as well as your pocket!
Enough demand for Eco / Green printing to grow?
Focus Your Selling Efforts in 2020
Top 100 Print Buyers
If 2020 looks like this in the USA, printing & packaging is in big demand worldwide .
None of the information in the Printing Impressions report refers to planet Earth, Sustainability or the Circular Economy. However, here are some good ideas about marketing, from their report (below) that anybody in the Circular INK, Print & Packaging industry could use to bring in business.
Most all of the Top 100 Print Buyers have multiple buying locations, or maintain their creative, marketing, and in-house production – off-site – from their headquarters. No. 7 Pfizer, for example, is based in New York but has a satellite operation in lower-cost Jersey City, N.J., and at several subsidiaries. No. 40 Kraft Heinz has two headquarters (Pittsburgh and Chicago); and No. 14 Comcast has five creative and procurement centers (Philadelphia; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Denver; and Los Angeles). There are no excuses for smaller printers to leave “major buyers” to major sellers.
To get started, match up the most efficient product you offer to the most relevant print buyer “Primary Sectors”. If one is, say, a flexo/letterpress label printer or litho packaging converter, one-fifth of total U.S. demand comes from the following Printing Impressions Top 100 Print Buyers; principally from 21 Health pharma/personal care buyers, 17 in Food/Beverages, and nine that should be obvious in three additional combined sectors.
For sellers of catalogs, directories, and direct mail, one-third is bought by seven each in Tech and Retail, plus nine companies in Leisure, Finance, or Automotive.
The key point is that the Top 100 Print Buyers will comprise more than 26% of all print demand and, at the present rate of corporate agglomeration, will be $1.16 billion higher than 2019. Foresight in front of the New Year is in order! ; 2020 hindsight after it’s over is no alternative!
Vincent Mallardi, C.M.C. , contributing editor to Printing Impressions
OK, Next – PAPER and the other materials you print on >>
The first Industry that can go completely Circular…NOW!
Here are a number of posts on the already Sustainable Circular Printing & Packaging industry:
Every Print Shop can “Go ECO”! NOW!
Marketing PRINTING & PACKAGING – Trends ..using sustainable suppliers
Eco-Printing & Packaging EQUIPMENT