Environmentally friendly inks launched

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

The company will use Earthinks, a new type of environmentally friendly, water based flexographic and screen printing ink made from up to 80% natural materials.

Earthinks were developed by Shropshire-based Solar Inks, and have been developed 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 almost no volatile organic compounds.

Earthinks will be able to be used on other substrates across an 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.