“Inkjet prints cannot be recycled for new newsprint or copying paper just as old newspapers or magazines,” claims INGEDE, International Association of the Deinking Industry.
It turns out, the recycling process doesn’t remove the ink from inkjet prints; the new paper comes out shaded. The recycling paper mills can still cope with single inkjet prints from households or offices. But what printer manufacturers plan to introduce at the “Drupa” fair, the world’s largest printing and paper exhibition, jeopardizes the paper recycling cycle: Direct mail or newspapers printed with inkjet are like a sponge full of ink – and even in small amounts of such printed products can cause the graphic paper recycling to collapse.
For a couple of years INGEDE has been trying to solve this problem together with printer manufacturers and other members of the paper chain, but futile. Quite the opposite – those printer manufacturers focused on excellent recyclable dry toners now also offer inkjet systems for high volumes.
The association believes that publishers and mailing designers need to be informed, as even a single publisher investing in this kind of equipment could severely harm paper recycling all over Europe. INGEDE plans an intensive information campaign in the forefront of the “Drupa” fair. Clearly, inkjet printed news and direct mail do not fit into the higher-grade paper recycling system. That is why possibly this kind of printed products have to be clearly visible marked as “not recyclable”.
The dry toner performs very well in the paper recycling process that originally has been developed for the removal of offset and gravure inks. A series of tests by different European research institutes on behalf of INGEDE has confirmed these findings.
For those of us who are environmentally conscious, all the above means we’d better stick to laser printers, if we want to be greener.