Earthinks launches new gravure inks and coatings range

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, July 3, 2015

Natural inks manufacturer Earthinks has launched a range of gravure inks and specialist coatings which it has said will offer improved sustainability and new possibilities to brand owners.

Earthinks said the new products, which have been launched in the past few weeks, provide gravure printers and packaging converters with high-quality, versatile inks made from sustainable and non-polluting resources.

The business said printers are increasingly using Earthinks to support their environmental requirements due to the pressure to monitor and improve their environmental footprint.

Applications for the inks include food packaging, paper and poly cups, napkins and sachets as well as wallpaper and greetings cards.

“It’s not a massive leap from flexo to gravure, there are some tweaks and certain applications that we need to be aware of but it goes hand in hand with what we were already doing,” said Earthinks owner Jonathan Mack.

“We’ve always said that Earthinks are continuously in development. We want to continually make them better, increase the renewable content even further and make them work on different substrates and for different applications.”

The gravure inks are water-based and made from up to 100% natural ingredients including soy, starch, sugars, dextrin, tree resin, cellulose and other polysaccharides.

Natural waxes are used in the inks to replace standard petroleum-based synthetics and natural oils are used to defoam instead of mineral oils.

The fully biodegradable and compostable inks are also developed to be higher performing and more affordable than traditional ink alternatives.

“Pricing is in line with anything else we would produce so I would expect them to be at least as competitive if not more competitive,” said Mack.

“Across this last year we’ve gone up against traditional water-based technology and found ourselves, in some cases, to be 50% cheaper.”

The new Earthinks specialist coatings range also offers up to 100% natural ingredients with functional and aesthetic properties, and can be used with flexo, screen and gravure inks as well as roller coat applications.

The launch of the new products follows a successful first year for Earthinks, a project launched by Solar Inks at the beginning of 2014.

The company has installed two ink dispensers at separate customer sites, Weedon Group and Single Source, and also established its first in-house customer colour laboratory at Weedon PSC’s Hednesford facility.

“We’ve converted 80% of our client base onto Earthinks and I’d expect that to be up to around 100% by the end of the year. We’ve actively encouraged clients to move over to it and ultimately these will be the only types of products that we will produce,” said Mack.

“Our intention is to start trading as Earthinks to coincide with when we’ve converted everybody over to them.”

Earlier this week the business won the 2015 Stationers' Company Innovation Excellence Award for its flexo and screen printing inks.


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