Alot of our customers are asking us for water based inks on their t-shirts because they believe it is more a environmentally friendly option for the t-shirt printing needs. This is not neccesarily the case though. When printing t-shirts, there are alot more things to consider than just the final product.
Here is a quick summary of the advantages and disadvantages of Plastisol inks vs Waterbase inks from an environmenta point of view. (ignoring ease of use and opacity issues.)
- It can be cleaned up with non toxic, bio degradable solutions. Nothing ugly is washed down the drain.
- There is almost no ink waste. We can put the left overs back in the container.
- Plastic lasts forever.
- The finished product (the printed t-shirt) is completely biodegradable.
- The waterbase pigments are suspended in a pretty harsh chemical compound that is quite carcenogenic. It is harmful to the fish when it goes down the drain, and to the people who breath the fumes while printing it.
- Most waterbase ink needs to be sensitized when loaded into the press. One we add the charging compound the ink has a life of about 2 hours. After your job is printed, we throw out the remaining ink. We typically throw out 2 times as much as we actually use. Disposing of this chemical compound must be done as a hazardous waste.
So, to sum it all up: Plastisol, once it’s cured it harms nothing but lasts forever. Waterbase can biodegrade, but it gives the fish and the pressman cancer.
Which is worse? You decide. We can print your t-shirts with either.
Owner, Bold Merchandise