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KIDV fact sheet about printing on packaging

Publication date: January 6, 2022

Today, The Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (KIDV) published a new fact sheet on the subject of printing on packaging. In the fact sheet, KIDV provides insight into the use and impact of inks to help companies make informed choices about printing.

KIDV fact sheet about printing on packaging

Although in terms of weight, inks are only a minimal part of packaging, the application of inks can have an effect on the environment and people's health. Traditionally, conventional inks printed on packaging have contained harmful substances. Inks can also affect the recyclability of packaging. A low impact of inks on people and the environment does not necessarily mean that recycling is better as a result.

"By being transparent about the application of inks and also naming contradictions and dilemmas, conscious choices can be made in making packaging more sustainable," says packaging expert Marcel Keuenhof of KIDV. The fact sheet describes the various ink types and printing techniques, their impact on people and the environment and their relationship to various R-strategies (Reduce, Resource, Recycle and Rethink). Regulations and certification are also discussed in the document.

Keuenhof: "In order to make the right sustainable choices for the printing of packaging, insight is needed into the main effects of inks and production processes. On this basis, a company can choose a certain strategy and focus on Reduce or Recycle, or on a combination of R-strategies. At the same time, there are also contradictions. Choosing recyclability, by de-inking, is currently at odds with choosing Resource. Inks that score best on the degree of de-inking, for example, are not very biocompatible and vice versa."

"Inks and printing processes that fit all strategies together have yet to be invented. But it always makes sense to critically examine the existing printed packaging portfolio against the Rethink measure," Keuenhof says. The fact sheet includes a checklist to help companies with this. 

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