This is a topic that is often at the forefront of the conversation when it comes to screen printing. Are water based inks really more environmentally friendly than plastisol inks?
Here at A.M. Custom Clothing we offer both, and believe both come with their merits when it comes to production, and getting the results you want. We also offer DTG printing, where all of the inks used are water based.
Water based inks from the surface do sound better for the environment, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. While they do contain less oil-based chemicals and are less harmful, they do come with some significant downsides.
Water-base printing tends to generate more waste, and that waste quite often is poured down the drain – something that is unavoidable. Compared to plastisol inks that provide virtually a 100% yield, additionally they can be scooped back up and used again easily, meaning next to no waste.
Both inks rely on plastic resins or binders, pigments, fillers and various chemical additives.
The biggest issue with water based inks is the energy used in drying them (to remove the moisture). Solvent-based prints take one fifth of the time to dry, meaning one fifth of the gas and carbon is used during the drying process.
Unfortunately, while there are many things that can be done to reduce the environmental impact of your custom printed clothing, there isn’t a one size fits all perfect solution.
It’s additionally worth noting, when screen printing onto coloured garments, plastisol inks will be more vibrant, than water based inks.
Through the use of innovative & dynamic supply chains and the latest print technology, we’re doing all we can to reduce our foot print across the board. Additionally we offer multiple print methods and ink types to ensure we’re able to cater to your needs.