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Flexo Sustainable : Spring Summer 2009
duction result in contributions of varying degrees to the final results of the various ink systems. CONCLUSIONS The results of this analysis find that the water-based ink systems have lower overall environmental impacts, for relative inputs in addition to lower lifecycle costs. The relative impact for all six of the environmental categories is shown in the environmental fingerprint (Figure 8). It can be clearly seen that the water-based alternative results in the minimum environmental impact relative to the other options in five of the six environmental impact categories. The exception is in toxicity potential, where it lies between the solvent-based and UV-cured alternatives. Figure 9 displays the eco-efficiency portfolio, which shows the study when all six individual environmental categories from the study are combined into a single relative environmental impact adjusted using the weighting factors described above. Because environmental impact and cost are equally important, the most eco-efficient alterative is the one with the largest perpendicular distance above the diagonal line and the results from this study find that a water-based ink system is the most eco-efficient alternative, due to its slightly lower environmental impact and lower costs relative to the solventbased and UV-cured alternatives. The Eco-efficiency analysis continues to be a valuable tool for suppliers, manufacturers and end-users to make informed and educated decisions about raw material selections for printed products. n ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Chris Bradlee is biodegradable plastics market development manager, North America. He is responsible for new business development for BASF’s line of biodegradable plastics in North America. He has 20 years experience in the environmental sciences field, and expertise in the areas of sustainable development, human health and environmental risk assessment and product safety. Rick Grandke is the printing and packaging industry manager at BASF Resins North America. He is responsible for BASF’s Joncryl, Laromer and Lucirine product lines used in printing ink applications and has more than 30 years experience in the formulation, manufacturing and application of packaging, commercial and publication inks and coatings. Cristina Piluso joined BASF as a member of the EHS Product Stewardship Sustainability Programs Department in 2008. Her primary responsibility includes aiding in the completion of Eco-efficiency analysis (EEA) studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, with a focus on industrial sustainability, in December 2008 from Wayne State University. John Serafano is functional packaging coat- FIGURE 8. Relative environmental fingerprint. ings market development manager for BASF Resins in Wyandotte, MI. Prior to BASF, he spent eight years in the decorative building products industry leading R&D efforts using water based printing inks on flexible laminates. The 16 year balance of his career was served at Western Michigan University directing the pilot printing research and reduction center. REFERENCES 1 Saling, P.; Kicherer, A.; Dittrich-Krämer, B.; Wittlinger, R.; Zombik, W.; Schmidt, I.; Schrott, W.; Schmidt, S. Eco-Efficiency Analysis by BASF: The Method. Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 2002, 7(4), 203-218. 2 IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 996 pp. FIGURE 9. Eco-Efficiency portfolio. www. f l e x oma g . c om S P R ING/SUMME R 20 0 9 Su s t a i n a b l e F LEXO 1 5