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Water-Based Ink

Inaccuracies in communication sometimes called ‘greenwashing’ is a significant problem when using water-based inks

Water-based inks dry and evaporate naturally, requiring no extra energy to do so.

Water-based inks dry and evaporate naturally, requiring no extra energy to do so.

Water-based Ink definition

Inks are used during the printing process to transfer your image onto the material using flexographic, lithographic, offset or digital methods.

All printing inks contain a pigment of colour, a binder (also called the base) which sticks the pigment to the surface, and a solvent to spread the ink over the desired area evenly. Additives are sometimes added to increase the ink’s durability. 

Water-based inks have binder and solvents that are water-based. 

Why you should use water-based inks

Water-based inks are used when printing directly onto the cardboard surface, rather than a separate piece of material that’s then laminated onto the cardboard. Water-based inks are transparent in touch - that is to say, the ink film cannot be felt, but rather deeply into the cardboard underneath. 

Water-based inks emit no volatile organic compounds [1] (VOC’s) during the printing or drying process and therefore are safe to both workers and the surrounding atmosphere. 

As there are no chemical additives, water-based inks are cheap and easy to produce. Water-based inks don’t require a heater to set, cure and dry, as they to do so at room temperature (approximately 18 degrees C [2] /64.6F).

Wastage is nothing more than dirty (non-contaminated) water that is fit to be released into the sewer for standard water-treatment processing. Some printing facilities also have in-house water treatment facilities to clear and reuse the water used in water-based inks. 

Why shouldn’t use water-based inks

While water-based inks do cure naturally, they take longer to do so. This increases the turn-around time for an order, and depending on the facility, also holds up other orders. 

While water-based inks do create water waste that can be treaded in council facilities, they do create wastewater, and a significant amount more than petroleum and solvent-based inks. 

Packhelp and water-based inks

Packhelp’s products use water-based inks everywhere possible. Alternatives are used only when water-based inks cannot be used. 

Water-based inks are used whenever the flexographic printing method is used. 

All Packhelp’s water-based inks adhere to ISO 16758 [3] .

Frequently asked questions:

Petroleum-based products in your ink make it harder for the product to be recycled, composted or biodegrade. Water-based inks used on biodegradable or compostable products leave no residue.

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