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INGEDE slams HP claims over Indigo recyclability

The international paper mill group INGEDE says HP’s Indigo overprint is not compatible with the recycling of paper, despite the claims of the American company.

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Unhappy INGEDE: the paper mill organisation says Indigo cannot be fully recycled

In a statement INGEDE castigate the properties of the Indigo brand. INGEDE says: “Indigo still is more a lamination than a printing process: a layer of very thin polyethylene film like a shopping bag laminated onto paper. No wonder that this plastic film is difficult to be removed in a process designed to remove printing inks.”

The 33-strong association of mainly European paper mills with a strong German contingent supports research into paper and card recycling with a strong interest in how to take ink out of paper and card to enable recycling to be maximised.

HP’s Indigo digital presses and associated paper range have made inroads into the commercial print market still dominated by lithography. However the issues raised by the 33 paper mill group round on the product’s ability to be recycled. Ingene say that it is difficult to remove the last traces of ink from the Indigo paper meaning the paper can only be used to make corrugated cardboard and other packing products.

Despite the claims about the experimental trial in Château Thierry, HP has yet failed to provide a single graphic paper mill in Europe willing to utilize Indigo printer waste from their biggest European customers

In their literature on Indigo HP says: “HP Indigo is continually striving to reduce its environmental footprint by implementing a reduce, reuse and recycling program in its waste streams.”

HP has held trials of Indigo to prove the products suitability for recycling at the Château Thierry paper plant in France. And last year, Voith Paper, supplier of deinking equipment, and the paper technology department of PMV Darmstadt, German technical institute, conducted two pilot-scale trials with 5 and 10 percent HP Indigo feed.
These trials proved Indigo was able to be recycled says HP. The company says: “HP Indigo prints are fully recyclable and can be placed in normal recycling collection. Deinking, or removing ink from paper fibers, is one of the key steps in the paper recycling process for manufacturing recycled graph-ic arts papers.”

However INGEDE says: “Despite the claims about the experimental trial in Château Thierry, HP has yet failed to provide a single graphic paper mill in Europe willing to utilize Indigo printer waste from their biggest European customers. On the contrary, with the new EN 643 standard for paper for recycling, Indigo printer waste is now also formally “unwanted material” for deinking.”


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