hubergroup has long been recommending flexographic printing inks that have been awarded the “OK Compost Home” Vincotte certificate to brand manufacturers who attach particular importance to environmentally friendly product packaging. Six flexo ink series suitable for different applications now carry this seal.
Printing inks are not fully biodegradable. They contain pigments that have to ensure certain ink resistances and do not decompose during the composting process. Nevertheless, printing inks can comply with the EU standard EN 13432 for biodegradable packaging if they are appropriately formulated. The standard states that the entire product is considered to be fully biodegradable and compostable if at least 90% of the material is degraded to water, carbon dioxide and biomass within a maximum of six months.
The basic prerequisite for compliance with the standard is that printing inks do not account for more than 1% of the packaging per color; and for all colors together, not more than 5%. In addition, they must not exceed the prescribed limits for heavy metals, which in the case of packaging printing inks primarily entails a restriction of the copper-containing pigments blue PB 15:3 and green PG 7. The “OK Compost Home” certification guarantees that these prerequisites have been met.
“The Proflex theme Tackling the Future is a perfect fit for hubergroup’s portfolio,” said Raphael Blenk, hubergroup’s expert for liquid packaging inks. “The future of packaging printing is characterized by topics such as sustainability and environmental compatibility. Our ink series Gecko Frontal ECO, Gecko Frontal UNI, Gecko Frontal UNI Premium, Gecko Frontal Storm, Gecko Bond TOP and Gecko Bond STAR are ideal process parameters when the focus is on the compostability of packaging.”
In addition to the expanded portfolio for biodegradable packaging, interested visitors can also take a look at print products enhanced with effect coatings, which appeal to the end consumer not only on the visual but also on the haptic, level.
Highly pigmented halftone inks, which enable ever more realistic illustrations in packaging printing and make spot colors very often superfluous, and an opaque white, with which the printer achieves almost the same opacity as in gravure printing, are further highlights that hubergroup is showing at Proflex.