Moquin Press

The Scoop on Sustainable Inks

   Inks and Greenhouse Emissions

Conventional inks used in offset printing release volatile organic compounds (VOC) during the air-dying process into the environment and require print shops to use harsher cleaners between jobs. All of these factors contribute to high greenhouse emissions levels that can be damaging to humans and the environment. While there aren’t 100% fully sustainable inks, UV inks and water or vegetable-based inks have been reformulated to reduce the amount of VOC’s released into the atmosphere.

In terms of sustainability, UV inks are at the top of the list, as they have been formulated to cure when exposed to UV light and not through oxidation (air-drying). As the ink dries immediately after print, VOCs are trapped in the paper avoiding greenhouse emissions and speeding up the production process by reducing offsetting and ghosting.


UV inks are at the top of the list”

On the other hand,  manufacturers consider vegetable-based inks more sustainable than conventional inks. Vegetable-based inks emit fewer VOCs by replacing older hydrocarbon ingredients with natural renewable resin and replacing petroleum oils with vegetable ones. While vegetable and water-based inks may seem like a great alternative to conventional inks it is important to note that not all vegetable inks have the same levels of natural tree rosin and vegetable oils in them. A prime example of this is soy ink—which has become very popular among sustainable brands not only for its alleged reduction of petroleum-based ingredients but also due to the direct reference to nature that the name has in itself. Nonetheless, soy ink labels can be misleading as the ink only needs to be 7% soy-based to carry the seal.
Therefore, at Moquin Press’ in-house ink lab, we prefer to print with UV inks as they reduce greenhouse emissions and improve working conditions while offering the best quality in color, registration, and consistency. Likewise, in the few cases in which UV inks are not used, we offer our clients vegetable-based inks guaranteed to be formulated with renewable source-bases such as vegetable oils.

Moquin Press Sustainability Pledge

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