BEST Offset Silver

Recyclability of Metallic Inks

It has to be understood that the statements made below are the result of Color-Logic Inc interaction with the printing industry and its associations.

This information is provided as general information to our customers, but does not release the potential user of our products from the responsibility to determine suitability of the product in their application. No liability is assumed for the correctness and completeness of the information presented. The statements are not legally binding and shall not be used in any litigation.

  • Color-Logic takes a proactive position towards sustainability which includes elements of product recyclability and other downstream components in a product’s life cycle.
  • There are a number of definitions for recyclability. In the context of printed materials this usually includes steps as de-ink-ability, re-pulp-ability and compost-ability. Marketing of these terms is under the purview of the Federal Trade Commission: These are guidelines and not enacted laws. According to this, the end user only has to determine what level of access the general community has, to provide the materials to recycling centers, assuming that the recycler can process the material.
  • Similar like process colors, metallic printing ink can be removed by a standard de-inking process which is typically used in the manufacturing of recycled paper. UV inks are no exception. Radtech has specifically commissioned a study (“Beloit study”) that does prove UV cured materials can be recycled where de-inking processes take place. The exception is for processes that do not use de-inking. The Recycled Paperboard Technical Association (RPTA) has shown that there can be issues where no de-inking is performed. It is believed though that UV cured coatings (due to their heavier film weight and higher degree of polymerization because of no pigments) are more of an issue than offset UV inks. The RPTA also echoed the comments below that the amount of metallic inks entering the waste stream is so small that it is a non-issue.
  • The amount of metallic ink used in comparison to process colors and coatings is typically less than one percent. In a normal deinking process, provided that a representative paper/board mixture is used the influence of metallic inks present can usually be neglected..
  • The majority of metallic inks used is based on Aluminum pigments. Aluminum compounds are ubiquitous and do not pose any harm for the environment. According to NAPIM the use of aluminum, copper and zinc in printing inks is not regulated in the U.S.

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