Deinking glass

by FESPA | 27/12/2018
Deinking glass

Laurel Brunner discusses printing on glass and the recycling and reuse of glass containers and bottles.

It takes about 1 million years for glass to biodegrade, so it’s a good thing that we have figured out sensible recycling processes for it. However, as the packaging industry gets ever more slickers, we must pay more attention to how we can keep recycling glass, particularly containers efficiently. Digital printing technology makes it easier to print direct to shape as we move away from plastics. We need to think more about ink formulations and deinking processes for glass containers. It needs to be economically viable to continue recycling them without increasing impacts through more complex deinking and recycling processes.

Printing on glass is quite common in the market although it’s not cheap or easy to print colour directly onto glass bottles and jars. Screen printing accounts for a majority of the market, however it is subject to design constraints like no halftones. That is why there is a general preference for pre-printed colour labels for glass containers. It quite rare to find inkjet systems that are designed to print direct to glass containers in high quality colour, although printing single colours is usually used for coding and marking.

Inkjet inks for printing on glass needs to be strong enough to stick and resist abrasion and be vibrant, with a wide colour gamut and they must be jettable. Inks needs to be removable during the recycling process so that the glass containers can be reused instead of being used to create a new glass product. Either way all the characteristics needed for inks printed on paper also applies to inks printed onto other surfaces like glass.

The availability of more inkjet inks for glass containers printing will improve the update of digital printing in the bottling industry. However, they must be suitable for the recycling and reuse of glass containers. Glass recycling is well established, there are various models around the world for collecting, processing and reusing it or reprocessing the glass into new products.

Efficient glass recycling means that less glass bottles need to be manufactured. This saves resources and makes it easier to move away from plastics. More work is required to develop inkjet inks for process colours that can be printed at speed on directly onto glass containers and then removed in the recycling and reuse phases.

Source: This article was produced by the Verdigris project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, Spindrift.click, EFI, FESPA, HP, Kodak, Kornit Digital, Ricoh, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.
 

by FESPA Back to News

Topics

Interested in joining our community?

Enquire today about joining your local FESPA Association or FESPA Direct

Enquire Today

Recent news

9 lean manufacturing principles for Garment Decorators
Garment Printing

9 lean manufacturing principles for Garment Decorators

Marshall Atkinson share various lean manufacturing principles to help streamline operations, reduce waste increase productivity and lower your business's costs.

22-04-2024
Are analytics services worthwhile for wide format printing?
Software

Are analytics services worthwhile for wide format printing?

Nessan Cleary shares how press manufacturers are increasingly offering machine analytics services and shares if these are good value for money in the wide format sector.

19-04-2024
Smart factories and customisation technology explored at Personalise Make Wear 2024
Personalisation

Smart factories and customisation technology explored at Personalise Make Wear 2024

FESPA's Textile Ambassador, Debbie McKeegan speaks to industry specialists at Personalise Make Wear at Personalisation Experience and Sportswear Pro 2024 held in Amsterdam. Each day of the exhibitions Debbie hosted a fire-side chat with these specialists to discuss various industry topics. During this Fire-side chat with Antigro, Caldera, Print Logistics, Inkcups and Kornit Digital they discuss the role of digital technologies in personalisation, reshaping the supply chain, the future of manufacturing and more.

19-04-2024
The pros and cons of Digital Signage and Printed Signage
Signage

The pros and cons of Digital Signage and Printed Signage

Sonja Angerer discusses the pros and cons of both digital signage and printed signage. Current developments such as artificial intelligence and spatial computing are changing the situation once again. How will this shift affect printers?

18-04-2024