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Green and Wide

By on July 2nd, 2013

The blog went to FESPA London last week, and there was no shortage of  “sustainable solutions” and “eco media” on display, although “sustainable” predominantly is synonymous with “recyclable.” On the ink side, so-called “eco-solvent” inks are also touted as being environmentally friendly and to the extent that they use milder solvents than proper solvent inks, this is true. However, such inks also require more heat to dry, which uses energy, which also has an environmental cost. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it should color green the lenses through which we examine these kinds of claims.

There was one product that caught my eye, though.

FESPA-DittoBCP Fluted Packaging does predominantly what its name says: they make fluted or corrugated packaging, and produce a good deal of the packaging materials for chocolate companies, Estee Lauder cosmetics, and other such consumer products. At FESPA, BCP got a good deal of attention—and a front page story in the Show Daily—for its Ditto “Formcore,” manufactured by BCP’s sister company EmLam. Ditto Formcore is a completely paper-based alternative to traditional foamcore, which comprises a polystyrene board with clay-coated liners. The Ditto Formcore comes in 2mm and 4mm thicknesses and standard sizes up to 1250x2450mm (or 49×96.5 in.). It can be printed on a large variety of wide-format printers and screen presses, and die-cut, profile cut, and even printed in pieces and assembled into a 3D object, as demonstrated by the Ditto Formcore biplane suspended above the BCP stand. The various bits were printed on a VUTEk, cut out, assembled, and suspended. Adjacent to the plane, also suspended from the ceiling, was a large sign printed on Ditto Formcore that even after four days of hanging, did not show any signs of warping or bowing. And the much-ballyhooed feature of Ditto Formcore is that it is made completely from paper (and FSC-certified paper), which means waste can be recycled. In the UK (BCP is a British company), that means printers can save money “by avoiding the landfill tax,” says Alan Leeming, BCP’s technical director. Ditto Formcore is only available in the UK, but will soon be available in Europe.

See elsewhere on WhatTheyThink for additional FESPA 2013 coverage.

  1. One Response to “Green and Wide”

  2. By Priceless Ink & Toner on Jul 3, 2013 | Reply

    Good point taken about the energy cost of drying the solvent inks. I don’t think the energy needed for heating that ink could make so much difference.
    Another way of helping the environment are the legit cartridge remanufacuring companies.