At The Graphical Tree, most of our print machinery uses eco-friendly latex inks, so we thought we’d tell you a little more about latex and why we choose to use it in line with our environmental policy and vision.
Latex ink is made up of 70% water, making it a greener option than traditional solvent-based ink. It helps us, and you, meet our sustainability goals.
Latex printing uses print heads to effectively distribute water-based inks onto a diverse range of media. This type of printing is ideal for accommodating everything from custom wallpaper projects, vinyl banners, self-adhesive substrates and posters.
Whereas solvent penetrates into the media, latex sits on top and doesn’t react in the same way, which is better for recyclability. Latex is also completely biodegradable, which happens even sooner when exposed to sunlight. Given the right conditions, latex can biodegrade at about the same rate as a leaf from a tree – around six months.
A further benefit of latex ink over solvent is that it is heavy-metal and nickel-free and doesn’t emit hazardous HAPS (Hazardous Air Pollutants) or VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) – gases or odours that are harmful to the environment. This means latex printing can be performed without any form of ventilation or air extraction and are safer for The Graphical Tree team to produce. Latex printing performs well in indoor spaces as they are odourless – great in healthcare and school environments for example, let alone everywhere else.
Latex inks are also certified by UL Ecologo and UL Greenguard Gold. (read more about UL certificates here) They’re also produced by HP, recognised as one of the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World, a company that is rightly trying to push forward the scope of sustainable printing – a company after our own heart.
In technical terms, HP Latex Inks conform to the standards of the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL), as demonstrated by meeting Roadmap to Zero Level 1 – Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) 1. ZDHC is an organization which is dedicated to eliminating hazardous chemicals and implementing sustainable chemicals in the leather, textile, and synthetics sectors. The Roadmap to Zero Program is a multi-stakeholder organization that includes top brands, value chain affiliates, and associates, that work collaboratively to implement responsible chemical management practices.
Our latex printers and ink are also RoHS – Stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances and REACH20 – Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals compliant.
Lastly, thankfully we can also recycle printheads and empty ink cartridges through the HP Planet Recycle program. If this would be helpful you too, here is the link to get involved.