Sean Milmo, Ink World European Editor09.02.05
When the government began to put stricter environmental goals for printers in place, there was a ripple effect throughout the supply chain. Printers began to examine alternate technologies in order to eliminate the solvent-based systems that give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to reduce and/or eliminate.
For ink formulators, one possibility was to create water-based systems, which would accomplish the goal of reducing VOCs. The water-based inks have improved over time, and today, these water-based systems have had a major impact in a number of areas, particularly in flexo.
However, there is still room to grow. Water-based inks’ future growth depends on what the EPA does, and whether printers are looking to change over to water once their incineration and capture and control equipment depreciates. Meanwhile, formulators are looking to improve the properties of water-based inks to reach into other segm
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