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You may not have noticed it at the time, but chances are you've written notes with pens or read documents printed with a few different kinds of ink. The traditional petroleum-based inks are environmentally hazardous, which is why many printing companies have made the switch to soy-based inks. And soy-based inks do not mean sacrificing quality – they're capable of producing more vibrant colors, in fact, and ink can make any print media advertising campaign really pop. Keep reading to learn more about soy-based inks vs. petroleum-based inks.
Soy-based ink Soy-based ink is an excellent alternative to petroleum or oil-based inks. Not only is this ink great for the environment and your eco-friendly business agenda, but it can actually be used to produce brighter, more vibrant colors. The end result is an eco-friendly and visually appealing creative every time, which says a lot about your business and demonstrates that you care about the environment – especially when combined with recycled paper. Soy-based ink is, as the name implies, made from soybeans. The oil is refined and then mixed with other environmentally friendly compounds such as natural resins and waxes. The fine bright colors that can be produced with soy-based inks are a result of the soy oil – it is much clearer and less, well, “oily” than petroleum based inks. Soy ink is a frequent choice of newspapers and other mass produced documents since it can produce such bright colors, and it is substantially more cost effective than its oil-based cousins.
Petroleum-based ink Petroleum-based inks, while effective, are more expensive than soy-based inks and have a much harsher affect on the environment. They tend to contain a rather high amount of what are known as VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, including toluene, benzene and xylene. These compounds can be very harmful to the environment, wildlife and people: For example, benzene is a common carcinogen. Consider the contents of soy-based inks in comparison: soy beans and natural resins, plus natural wax. That should say it all!
Other kinds of ink The most common kind of ink used other than soy-based or petroleum-based ink is vegetable-based ink. While preferable to petroleum based ink, vegetable-based ink cannot produce the vibrant, lively colors that appear in creations using soy-based ink. It can also be slightly more expensive and affect your business’ bottom line.
Which should you use? The clear choice for any business striving to be environmentally friendly without sacrificing quality or the bottom line is soy-based ink. Do some good for the environment, produce a better overall product and show your customers you care with soy-based ink.