For many years, it was traditional in the printing industry to employ solvent-based inks. These inks contain higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a set of chemicals widely used as ingredients in such household products as paints, varnishes, and waxes, as well as cleaning, disinfectant, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products. They are of concern as a source for both indoor and outdoor air pollutants, especially indoors, where they have the potential to adversely impact the health of people exposed.
Increasing environmental awareness has been driving the printing industry to consider other ink systems. The desire for eco-friendly labels has created a trend that has posed both challenges and changes to ink and coating technologies. This includes the use of water-based inks, with their higher levels of water and fewer VOCs, making them a greener solution to produce a more environmentally friendly product.
When using water-based inks in flexographic printing, all films and laminated foils — which use a very thin layer of aluminium, laminated to paper — must be treated with coatings that will work with water-based inks. Labelservice has proven its commitment to the environment by aiming to produce the most eco-friendly labels that we can.
The Forest Stewardship Council was founded in 1993 in response to concerns about deforestation and to ultimately reverse that trend. The Council’s mission is the global promotion of a sustainable forestry industry. To fulfill that mission, it sets standards for forest products, such as wood and paper. The Council also independently certifies that those standards have been met, and bestows the FSC-certified label Forest-Stewardship-Council on qualified products. This certification process allows customers the option of choosing products from businesses, including printers and the construction industry, that operate in a manner that is economically viable and yet environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
The fact that a number of paper manufacturers source from wood suppliers willing to protect habitat, plant more trees than they harvest, prevent pollution, and avoid displacing indigenous peoples and harming wildlife has a real impact on forest sustainability. Although the term “sustainable” can be vague (like “organic” or “natural”), to bear the FSC-certified label, producers of paper products must meet a set of strict standards, focusing on the scale and intensity of logging, operations for renewal, and the management of forest health.