When working with a print broker, one of the options you can choose from is environmentally friendly inks. These inks are made to have a minimal impact on the environment when compared to the petroleum based options you have available. As you may know, petroleum based products have higher levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).

Typically, these environmentally-friendly inks are soy and vegetables based. The vegetable bases themselves can come from a number of different sources. The most common of those being plant based oils such as canola, chinawood, castor, linseed, and safflower oil. The lack of solvents increase the drying time, so you need to take that into consideration when considering your options.

Soy based products tend to be more popular than their vegetable counterparts. They have been shown to be better when it comes to wetting and they carry pigments blended into them better. This allows better brightness when printing colors. At times, your print broker may recommend a combination of soy and vegetable base to take advantage of the characteristics of both ink types for exceptional results.

The benefits associated with environmentally-friendly inks begin when they are being manufactured. While there have been efforts made to have commercial inks reduce their VOC levels to under 35%, most soy and vegetable oils are at levels offering a 0% VOC. As people have taken notice of these unique options for printing, environmentalists have applauded the natural use of vegetables to create an environmentally sound alternative high performance ink with a combination of oils. Traditional ink manufacturers have pointed out that drying times is slower than petroleum based inks, though. The truth is the dry time isn’t significantly different and the final results are often better than their petroleum counterparts.

One other option is water-based ink and it does have its place. This is one of the slower types of inks to cure on a page and that slow dry time can be considerable. To offset some of this time, solvents are added to some products, which means they are no longer green printing choices. However, those who are concerned with the feel of their print job, water-based ink tends to be soft touch, which is ideal in some situations.

As you can see, there are a few different options you will have when you are working with your print broker. Make sure you take the time to explore each of the options you have and choose an ink that delivers the quality results you want while having a minimal impact on the environment. To enhance the effectiveness of your environmentally sound approach, you may want to consider utilizing one of the many types of recycled paper products available.

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