Ecolabels for printed products require reliable test methods

Paper is sustainable. It comes from renewable resources and can be fully recycled to products of the same value. The paper from today’s news will be back with more news next week.

This only works as long as the printed product remains recyclable – as long as printing inks can be removed during the paper recycling process. Problems can occur from crosslinked inks (liquid toner from HP Indigo, UV cured inks and varnishes). But also many mineral-oil free inks are a source of dirt specks: if the oils used polymerise during oxidative drying and thus are difficult to be removed from the fibres (e. g. soybean oil).

A valid assessment can be made using a test according to INGEDE Method 11. This test is proven for decades and has been optimised regularly. INGEDE Method 11 has become the basis of the evaluation according to the deinkability scores of the European Paper Recycling Council (EPRC) used for many ecolabels: for the Blue Angel for Printed Products (RAL-UZ 195 in Germany), the Austrian Ecolabel for Printed Products, the Nordic Swan and the European Ecolabel.

Find all INGEDE Methods here.