Sustainability is a growing concern in the inks and printing industry, with brand owners and printers seeking to improve their sustainability practices. This includes producing goods more efficiently using responsibly sourced materials and having an end-of-life plan for materials, such as recycling, composting, or reusing items. Industry leaders, such as INX International Ink Co.’s Renee Schouten, emphasize the importance of sustainability in their vision, stating that it guides their products, processes, and society.

Fujifilm Ink Solutions Group’s Craig Milsted highlights the importance of conservation in their business activities, with targets to reduce CO2 emissions across the entire product life-cycle by 50% and from operations by 50% by 2030. The Ink Solutions Group has integrated sustainability into their business to reduce environmental impact and develop products and services that support customers in achieving their sustainability commitments.

Flint Group’s Matthew Rowland-Jones, sustainability officer, reports that sustainability is increasingly important to all stakeholders, with the company committed to helping customers reach their sustainability goals. Flint Group is focused on developing a broader range of sustainable products and services to meet the needs of its customers and brand owners. Flint Group works closely with suppliers to responsibly source materials and engage with customers to minimize emissions, resulting in more environmentally friendly end applications. 

Sustainability is also a key focus for customers, including consumers and brand owners, as they seek to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a circular economy. Flint Group, a company that focuses on carbon footprint, operational efficiency, and circular economy, sees three key areas of interest emerging from discussions with customers: carbon footprint, operational efficiency, and circular economy. 

Sun Chemical, for example, is focusing on circular packaging and enabling recycling, waste reduction, circular reuse of materials, and using renewable resources to reduce carbon footprint.

Sustainability is also important for all print industries, with different sectors experiencing different pressures. In packaging, consumer demand and growing legislation drive focus on sustainability, while in digital textiles, pigment inkjet ink technology is growing but faces cost pressure. In sign and display, public service providers are increasingly asking for sustainability credentials and information demanded by brands.

End-of-life strategies are crucial throughout the supply chain, and inks play a significant role in achieving circularity. Siegwerk, a company focused on circular packaging solutions, is continuously introducing new products that facilitate recycling or composting. Sun Chemical’s products, including pigments, inks, coatings, and adhesives, are a small percentage of a final product but can significantly impact its recycling or compostability. Flint Group is working on products that can be more easily recycled or composted, and their approach to sustainability takes a broad perspective, looking at wider upstream and downstream impacts alongside direct operations.

In conclusion, end-of-life strategies are essential for achieving circularity in the packaging industry and companies in the sector are working to develop products that promote circularity and reduce the overall impact of the packaging value chain.

Source: Ink World Magazine