HP has announced a significant investment in the next generation of water-based ink and committed 200m USD over five years to develop sustainable ink technologies for printing digitally on corrugated packaging and textiles.
The company’s commitment complements ongoing HP investments in other printing technologies and markets aimed at creating sustainable digital print technologies. Traditional textile coloration can be problematic from a water emissions perspective as according to the World Resources Institute it produces 20 percent of industrial water pollution.
‘Investing in water-based solution that meets market needs and increasing sustainability requirements of graphics customers is expected to propel business growth for HP,’ said Santi Morera, general manager and global head of graphics solutions at HP. ‘We will be dedicating resources toward continued innovation and industry disruption to accelerate safer, simpler and more sustainable water-based printing technologies that meet the quality, performance and economics needed by these markets.’
HP’s true water-based inks for corrugated packaging have already shown success for sensitive applications such as food packaging. The company is committing resources to enable the next major generation of ink, printed, and press technology, with improved quality, performance and sustainability out of a belief that water-based solutions are the long-term future of this market.
While executing plans for transforming the textiles market, HP is mindful of the technology options from both the traditional analog and digital perspectives. As such, HP is collaborating with the textile industry in order to make the right choices for water-based digital platforms.
This announcement builds on HP’s existing innovation in water-based ink technology, such as for the sign and display market. Water-based HP latex inks, for example, established a durable, versatile and safer alternative for existing inks used for signage and displays. Additional sustainability achievements across HP’s graphics business allow brands to reduce waste and minimize their environmental impact.
‘HP’s continuing investment in advancing water-based ink technology gives DS Smith confidence that we will meet the health and safety demands of our customers, along with our own high standards for the work environment of our employees,’ said Ruediger Lindner, general manager at DS Smith.
Robert Seay, general manager, Georgia-Pacific Hummingbird, added: “Water-based inkjet inks are a technology differentiator in corrugated packaging, enabling us to confidently address a broader range of applications from food and beverage to personal care products.’
HP believes that investing in water-based ink solutions for the corrugate and textile printing markets will have beneficial effects along the entire product lifecycle, for the people who operate printing systems, for the end users of the printed product, and ultimately for the final reuse, recycling, or disposal of that product.