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The World's Most Sustainable Ink

The World's Most Sustainable Ink

The World's Most Sustainable Ink

Don't just minimize emissions.
Sequester them.

Don't just minimize emissions.
Sequester them.

The Future of Ink is Algae

Black ink is on almost everything. Unfortunately, most black pigment in the world is made with carbon black and is generated from fossil fuels. Algae Ink™ is here to change this standard. Algae Ink is a revolutionary ink developed by Living Ink Technologies. It utilizes algae cells for pigments, making it safer and cleaner to work with, and more compatible with the recycling and composting process. Algae Ink is a net negative carbon technology, with each bucket of ink sequestering the same carbon as two trees.
 
Today, Algae Ink can replace standard carbon black across a variety of applications and industries. Read on to see how Algae Ink changes the future of packaging, apparel, and durable goods.

The Future of Ink is Algae

Black ink is on almost everything. Unfortunately, most black pigment in the world is made with carbon black and is generated from fossil fuels. Algae Ink™ is here to change this standard. Algae Ink is a revolutionary ink developed by Living Ink Technologies. It utilizes algae cells for pigments, making it safer and cleaner to work with, and more compatible with the recycling and composting process. Algae Ink is a net negative carbon technology, with each bucket of ink sequestering the same carbon as two trees.
 
Today, Algae Ink can replace standard carbon black across a variety of applications and industries. Read on to see how Algae Ink changes the future of packaging, apparel, and durable goods.

Shipping Boxes

Water-Activated Tape

Paper Mailers

Retail Packaging

Poly Mailers

Hang Tags

Stamp Ink

Notebooks & Brochures

Apparel & Footwear


Get In Touch

Black Algae Ink is a must-have for your products and packaging if you're building a sustainable brand. By incorporating this technology into your business, you are not only actively sequestering carbon but also paving the way for this ink to become more mainstream and widely available long-term, which would be a significant win for the environment.
 
Contact us today to see how Algae Ink can set your brand apart.
 

Recent Wins in the World of Algae Ink

Poly mailer in algae ink
Eltee Swim becomes the first-ever brand to print their poly mailers with Algae Ink.
Bottles in algae ink
Cove becomes the first brand to utilize energy curable screen ink for PLA bottles.

The progress Living Ink Technologies and EcoEnclose have made with black Algae Ink are due, in large part, to the innovative brands willing to leap untested but ecologically superior technologies. Thank you for being a collective force for positive change.

The history of algae ink at ecoenclose

Frequently Asked Questions

For more in-depth information about the history of algae ink and why it is such a tremendous leap forward even when compared to standard water and soy-based inks, check out our post - How Algae Ink is Changing the Print Industry.

What makes Algae Ink sustainable?

The world's most sustainable ink is made from algae cells.

Algae Ink is a carbon-negative ink, sequestering more carbon in a stable and long-lasting form than is used in its production. Every 45 pounds of Algae Ink we produce keeps 22.5 pounds of petroleum (crude oil) from being used. That means that 22.5 pounds of oil can't negatively impact our environment or air. Additionally, because our ink is carbon negative, using a 45-pound bucket of Algae Ink can remove -59 kg of carbon dioxide or like planting four trees!

Algae Ink has more biorenewable content than any other ink on the market. Algae Ink for offset printing is 86% biorenewable content, and Algae Ink for flexographic printing is 90% biorenewable content.

What is carbon black? What is algae black?

Pertroleum versus bio-based printing inks.

Carbon black is a pigment used within the ink, textiles, plastics, and rubber industries. It is derived from heavy petroleum such as FCC tar, coal tar, or ethylene cracking tar. It is listed as a class 2b carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Thus, carbon black is hazardous to human health, causes environmental degradation, and is produced using finite resources.

Algae black is a bio-based, renewable, and safe carbon black alternative. Algae by-product material is transformed into tiny black pigments. These pigments are in the form of either a dry powder or liquid dispersion. [Source: Living Ink Tehnologies]

Where can algae black be used?

A renewable ink replacement for carbon black.

Technically, algae black can be a replacement any time carbon black is currently being used. As of today (2022), algae black is actively being used in flexographic ink, offset ink, and screen printing ink. Living Ink Technologies is also developing formulations that can be used in cosmetics, textiles, and dyes in plastics.

Unfortunately, algae black is currently unavailable for digital printing applications (toner or inkjet). Please reach out if you have a new idea for how your company wants to use algae black.

Why is Algae Ink more sustainable than soy or water-based ink?

The most renewable ink available today.

Soy and water-based describes the ink's "carrier" (the agent which carries pigment onto the printing substrate). The move from solvent carriers to water- and plant-based carriers was great for the environment. But pigments in these inks are still derived from fossil fuels.

Algae Ink is a leap forward in the landscape of sustainable inks, as its pigments are biorenewable, derived from algae (and, in fact, from waste generated by an algae fuel production facility). Algae Ink utilizes water or plant-based carriers and is the most renewable ink available today.

Are my volumes too high to use Algae Ink? Or too low?

We have you covered. Whether you go through five million packages a year or just a few hundred, we can bring Algae Ink into your packaging strategy. Our minimum order quantity is 100 for shipping boxes, 500 for mailers, 60 rolls for water-activated tape, and 10,000 for retail packaging, marketing material, and notecards. We have no maximum limits - whatever your volumes, we can meet your needs.

Is Algae Ink only available for shipping packaging?

No! Ecoenclose and Living Ink can use Algae Ink to print most paper-based substrates, some poly/plastic substrates, apparel/textiles, and more.

Is Algae Ink recyclable?

Regarding ink, "recyclability" refers to how easily recyclers can remove the ink from a recycled substrate during the repulping/melting and deinking process. Studies have shown that soy and water-based inks are easier and cleaner to deink than solvent-based inks. However, thus far, we have not been able to conduct studies on the deinking of water-based and soy-based inks utilizing algae pigments.

Is Algae Ink compostable?

Regarding ink, "compostability" refers to how well a substrate composts with a specific type of printing ink. Most paper-based packages are considered compostable, even though inks used to print on them utilize fossil-fuel-derived pigments. This is because inks account for such a tiny percentage of the overall package's weight, and this minute amount of contamination is considered acceptable.

As composting becomes more common, we believe people must consider the impact of the small components of their packages, such as inks and adhesives. One reason we are so excited about Algae Ink is that the pigments (most of what is left on the package) are biorenewable, naturally biodegradable, and therefore safer for our soils.

Will Algae Ink fade over time?

Black Algae Ink does not fade.

Is Algae Ink available for digital printers?

Currently, black inkjet or toner ink is not available. As progress is made on this ink solution, we will share updates here.

Is Algae Ink available in colors besides black?

A broader line of ink colors is being developed now that the feasibility and performance of black Algae Ink have been proved. No other colors are available, but as progress is made and new colors are released, we will share updates here.

Is Algae Ink more expensive than regular (fossil-fuel-derived) black ink?

Currently, Algae Ink is significantly more expensive to produce than standard, fossil-fuel-derived ink. This is partly because Algae Ink is still in its early stages and therefore produced in small quantities (compared to carbon black, which is ubiquitous and enjoys massive economies of scale). It is also because, as is the case in most industries, the cost of fossil fuels is low compared to the cost of producing alternatives derived from renewable sources.

We are confident that, over time, both of these trends will shift, and Algae Ink will become more and more cost-effective to produce. That said, because ink typically makes up a minimal volume of your packaging, it slightly impacts pricing. Depending on your design and solution, you may see a 1-5% increase in price when shifting to Algae Ink, a premium we are working hard to bring down by making Algae Ink more widely used.

How algae ink works

Contact Us: Start Printing With Black Algae Ink