Timothy Milroy, general manager and the man whose idea it was to introduce the new packaging explains;
"The idea is simply developed from what many printers often do in any case with their remaining inks after a job. They fold a container from cardboard to store the inks in for the next job. We have (further) developed that idea and come up with what we believe is a simple and very functional way of distributing and storing ink".
Whilst DIC Colortron is the first inkmaker to have developed the concept for the Australian market, the idea is not entirely new. However, other cardboard containers in the past have been using an inner foil lining, metal bottom and plastic lids, which meant they were not recyclable. The new box developed by DIC Colortron together with The Carton House is based on 55 per cent recycled material and is the first totally recyclable ink container.
The board material used has been selected to ensure no skinning problems or leaching of solvents or vegetable oils to the external walls of the box. In order to guarantee that such problems do not arise, a number of different boards are used selected for best functionality with each specific product. To meet any external mechanical demands arising from the cardboard container being less sturdy than a metal can, the ink is delivered with five 2 kg boxes inside a strong outer cardboard box.
One of the big advantages of the packaging is that the box is constructed in such way that its side may be folded open to form an easy-to-pour flap and finishing off scraping out any remaining material into the ink duct.
This is especially useful with low viscosity products such as overprint varnishes. When the box has been emptied the printer simply unfolds it to scrape off any remaining material and throws it into the cardboard recycling bin.
Elaborating on DIC Colortron’s motivation for developing the ink in a box concept, managing director Andrew Papadopoulos explains, "Dainippon Ink &Chemical is very committed to environmental issues on a global basis and especially in relation to the massive landfill issues our modern society is facing."
"Our new packaging is a viable option for the Australian printing industry to tackle this problem in the best interests of our environment. As an example one cubic metre space is equal to 242, 2 kg slip lid cans. In the same space, we can fit 4082, 2 kg boxes with lid when flattened.
This means that for the same amount of ink used the printer will require 17 times less space to store and dispose the used cardboard container."
"Even compared to vacuum cans which can be stacked into each other, the ink boxes take up only half the space. Further, apart from the environmental issues the printer has no extra costs to send the box material to be recycled: on the contrary it is an income opportunity. Cans on the other hand are prescribed waste and must go to specific landfill sites at a cost to the printer - and the environment".