HP Inc. believes that investing in water-based ink solutions for the corrugated and textile printing markets will have beneficial effects along the entire product lifecycle, for the people who operate their printing systems, for the end users of the printed product, and ultimately for the final reuse, recycling, or disposal of that product.
As such, the company announced a significant investment in the next generation of water-based ink solutions. The company has committed around R2.9 billion ($200 million) over five or more years to develop water-based ink technologies for printing digitally on corrugated packaging and textiles.
The company’s commitment complements ongoing HP investments in other printing technologies and markets aimed at creating sustainable digital print solutions. Traditional textile colouration makes use of technologies that can be problematic from a water emissions perspective. World Resources Institute estimates that about 20% of industrial water pollution comes from garment manufacturing.
‘Investing in water-based solutions that meet market needs and the increasing sustainability requirements of graphics customers is expected to propel business growth for HP,’ said Santi Morera, general manager and global head of graphics solutions, HP Inc. ‘We will be dedicating resources toward continued innovation and industry disruption to accelerate safer, simpler and more sustainable water-based printing technologies that meet the quality, performance and economics needed by these markets.’
HP’s true water-based inks for corrugated packaging have already shown leadership for sensitive applications such as food packaging. The company is committing resources to enable the next major generation of ink, printhead and press technology, with improved quality, performance and sustainability in their solutions out of a belief that water-based solutions are the long-term future of this market.
While executing plans for transforming the textiles market, HP is mindful of the technology options from both the traditional analogue and digital perspectives. As such, HP is collaborating with the textile industry in order to make the right choices for water-based digital platforms.
This announcement builds on HP’s existing innovation in water-based ink technology, such as for the sign and display market. Water-based HP Latex inks, for example, established a durable, versatile and safer alternative for existing inks used for signage and displays. Additional sustainability achievements across HP’s graphics business allow brands to reduce waste and minimise their environmental impact.
‘HP’s continuing investment in advancing water-based ink technology gives DS Smith confidence that we will meet the health and safety demands of our customers, along with our own high standards for the work environment of our employees,’ said Ruediger Lindner, general manager, DS Smith.
Robert Seay, general manager, Georgia-Pacific Hummingbird said, ‘Water-based inkjet inks are a technology differentiator in corrugated packaging, enabling us to confidently address a broader range of applications from food and beverage to personal care products.’