Implications of changing to mineral oil-free web offset inks

New report presented at World Printers Summit Frankfurt

Wan-Ifra web offset
Implications of changing to mineral oil-free web offset inks

Wan-Ifra and Citeo, with the participation of AGRAPA and UBA, have released a new report on the reduction of mineral oils of web offset inks in the circular economy. The report was presented at the World Printers Summit held in Frankfurt on 11-13 October.

The report brings together seven research projects undertaken in France and Germany to develop MOF inks in cooperation with over 30 cross-industry project participants, Wan-Ifra said.

Only web offset inks continue to use mineral oil-based inks in Europe, since sheet-fed offset mostly changed to vegetable oils by 2010. (In the USA, over 90% of news inks had converted to soya MOF by 1995.)

Pressure has been growing to eliminate mineral oil hydrocarbons from all inks for health and environmental issues. Web offset inks are one of the largest sources of mineral oils in the graphics industry, and consequently a priority to eliminate to avoid the transfer of residues through recycling.

These issues led France and Germany to look for solutions with all those involved in the value chain. CITEO in France, UBA and AGRAPA in Germany have been working for several years with members of the ink, paper and cardboard packaging sectors to find alternative solutions to inks containing mineral oils.

As Germany and France represent about 35% of Coldset newsprint consumption in Western Europe (EMGE 2022), these findings will have a major influence in the sector. Each country has taken different routes to implement MOF inks. 

In France, a mandatory regulation is being implemented for all inks on all products printed in or imported to France, while in Germany, AGRAPA has initiated a voluntary agreement to progressively switch to MOF newspaper inks by 2028.

GRAPA a German Graphic Papers Working Group formed in 1994 as a federation of graphic industry organizations, including paper makers, printers, publishers, book sellers, and recyclers. Citeo is a French not-for-profit Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) organization dedicated to the recycling of paper and

UBA is the German Environment Agency with the mission to ensure a healthy German environment with clean air and water, free of pollutants to the greatest extent possible.

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