Monday, October 13, 2008

Green Ink or Greenwash Ink?

Quebecor World Inc. made an interesting but rather cryptic announcement last week ( about "environmentally friendly" inks.

The big printing company is "offering its customers the option to use its new Enviroink™ logo on their printed products to signify they are using heatset inks that contain a minimum of 20 percent, by weight, renewable resources." The offer presumably applies only to customers using heatset offset printing, not those using coldset or rotogravure.

A Quebecor brochure says the renewable resources are pine rosins (a pulp byproduct) and vegetable oils. What neither the announcement nor the brochure say, however, is how these inks compare to what it used to use or what other printers use. Is the use of 20% renewable resources in this type of ink normal, or does it really represent something special? No doubt Transcontinental, R. R. Donnelley, Quad/Graphics, and others will eventually have something to say about the matter.

And doesn't it make you wonder what the other 80% contains?

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