Flint Group removes mineral oil from sheetfed process inks

Flint Group has removed mineral oils and now offers the full range of K+E process series exclusively made from more sustainable formulations, under plans to increase the use of environmentally-friendly raw materials and make packaging easier to recycle.

Since July, mineral oil has also been phased out as a raw material during Flint Group’s sheetfed bulk manufacturing processes, meaning Flint Group has eliminated the substance across its operations.  

The announcement follows an internal review by Flint Group, after the company acknowledged that mineral oil use does not contribute to a sustainable future.

Flint Group offset packaging solutions commercial director Roy van der Pijl said, “At Flint Group, we pride ourselves on supplying sustainable sheetfed inks to the print industry, aiming to support our customers’ environmental objectives while reducing our own impact on the planet.

“Although most of our sheetfed ink ranges were already made from sustainable, bio-renewable raw materials, we recognised that using mineral oil in the remaining few was hindering our sustainability efforts. 

“That’s why we’ve conducted this review and announced that our remaining mineral oil-based sheetfed process inks are now being produced from more sustainable raw materials.”

Flint Group sheetfed technology director Emil Schroetter added, “Removing mineral oils from Flint Group’s sheetfed process inks will help us take even greater action towards reducing carbon while preserving the high press performance our inks are renowned for. 

“This announcement is a significant step for the offset printing sector, and enables Flint Group to respond quickly to changing regulations.”

Recent years have seen growing concerns over the environmental effects of mineral oil-based inks. For example, since January this year, France has prohibited using more than one per cent mineral oil in printing inks for commercial and packaging applications with this limit reducing to just 0.1 per cent by 2025, signalling the start of changing regulations worldwide.  

Flint Group’s announcement supports the growing regulatory movement away from mineral oil in printing inks while supporting the de-inking process by preventing residual oil from adhering to paper fibres during recycling.

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