HAVI announced today a new development in sustainable packaging: natural-based inks, which are better for the environment with a 25 to 30 percent lower CO2 footprint than standard aqueous inks. They also reduce regulatory risk for brand owners and printers while increasing efficiency for printers and converters. These natural-based inks represent another aspect of clean packaging – an extension of the clean food movement – the principle of simplifying materials and chemistries for safer, more sustainable packaging.

“As a pioneer of clean packaging, HAVI is committed to not only improving the sustainability of packaging, but helping foodservice providers anticipate and stay ahead of consumer concerns about health and safety,” said Shane Bertsch, Vice President, Innovation at HAVI. “Through the use of renewable materials that are responsibly sourced and considered for their end of life recovery, natural-based inks provide a path to measurable, reportable CO2 savings. Ultimately we help brand owners with building a richer sustainability story.”

Clean packaging is about building trust with consumers, 70 percent of whom see clean packaging as equally or more important than clean food, according to a HAVI survey. The same survey found that consumers tend to associate clean packaging with “free from petrochemicals.”

In partnership with two of the largest ink suppliers in the world, INX® International Ink Co. and Sun Chemical®, HAVI is helping brand owners and packaging providers approach clean packaging with natural-based inks because they use fewer petrochemicals than standard flexographic inks, and do not contain nanomaterials, fluorochemicals, fanal pigments, heavy metals or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Instead, they contain 50 to 90 percent natural materials (depending upon the application and intended use) with renewable ingredients that don’t impact the food supply such as algae and non-edible plants. By voluntarily eliminating those chemicals, brands reduce their regulatory risk and demonstrate their commitments to consumer health and safety.

At the same time, natural-based inks perform as well as – or better than – conventional inks, and have even achieved efficiency improvements. They have better on-press performance and have even been shown to require less clean-up for printers and converters.

Natural-based inks have already replaced over 2 million pounds of petrochemically derived resins, waxes and additives annually, which eliminates 5.6 million pounds of C02 or the equivalent of 15.28 coal railcars.

“The new ink offers the versatility and customisation to run multiple print applications across many processing vehicles on most equipment. In many cases, multiple ink vehicles can be consolidated, thereby reducing inventory levels and increasing efficiencies” said Jim Garvey, Technical Manager for INX®.

“The inks have numerous advantages beyond just being environmentally friendly,” said Felipe Mellado, Chief Marketing Officer at Sun Chemical®. “Besides complementing Sun Chemical’s commitment to sustainability and food safe packaging, natural-based inks provide versatility, low migration and low abrasion solutions. In many cases, mileage and performance improvements have encouraged printers to switch over to the new technology for other packaging applications as well.