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FLEXO Magazine : October 2009
www.flexography.org OCTOBER 2009 FLEXO 45 FFTA's EHS Self-Assessment for Flexographic Printers is available for $ 50 for members and $100 for non-members. For more information on the Self Assessment, contact Doreen M. Monteleone, FTA direc- tor of EHS services and special projects, at 631-737-6020 ext. 30, or visit www.ftastore.com to order. Platemaking YNN/A Comments 6. Have other types of plates been investigated to determine which works best for your operation and will reduce the overall amount of unacceptable printed product? No matter what type of plate you choose, you must balance the environmental benefits of the plate processing chemicals with the amount of unacceptable printed product that will be discarded as waste. Each facility's needs are different. 7. Are digitally imaged photopolymer plates being used? Digitally imaged photopolymer plates can improve the quality and efficiency of platemaking as well as reducing the amount of regulated waste your facility generates. The use of film processing chemicals, time and expense of monitoring wastewater discharges can be eliminated. 8. Are water-washable photopolymer flexographic printing plates being used? Water- washable flexographic printing plates are an alternative to solvent washout plates which generate hazardous waste solvent. With appropriate permission from the local and state environmental regulatory agencies, the wastewater may be discharged into the sanitary sewer or disposed off-site with less risk or liability associated. 9. Are thermal photopolymer plates being used? Thermal process photopolymer plates eliminate the use of solvents and washes. Digitally imaged thermal process plates also are available. 10. Have continuous photopolymer sleeves been considered? This product uses no cushion tape, but long-life reusable cushion adapters that can be recoated. They offer shorter starting times and decreased waste on press. The product eliminates mounting and enables fast job changeover, reducing plate remakes. 11. If liquid photopolymer is being used, is the uncured portion being collected and recycled? Unexposed liquid photopolymer can be recycled to be used during another platemaking session. 12. Has minimizing plate use by mounting them only in printed areas been investigated? By using plates only where image is to be printed, the amount of photopolymer used can be significantly decreased. 13. If using sheet photopolymer, is the smallest size being used to meet the need? By using the smallest size possible, you will save money and reduce waste to the landfills. Purchasing the right size of photopolymer plates based on negative film size will minimize waste of unexposed photopolymer plates. If waste is still generated, it is recommended to save unused strips for the resetting of exposure and washout conditions. 14. Are all scrap plate materials and spent plates segregated and stored in recycling drums? Scrap materials should be kept segregated. Contaminated recyclable materials reduce the value to the recycling company and eventually they may refuse your materials if contamination within your recyclable product stream is chronic. 15. Is perchloroethylene (perc) being used to process plates? If so, it is important that you contact your supplier to recommend the best alternative solution to use. Perc is a carcinogen and should not be used. There are many alternative solutions for solvent washable plates on the market besides water washable plates and thermal process plates. 16. If solvents are being used to wash plates, are they being recycled? By recycling, a company can recover spent solvent for future use. This will save money in disposal costs, as well as reducing the use of virgin solvent. 17. Are screening technologies being used? Screening technologies for flexo printing contribute to more environmentally friendly packaging by reaching the desired color saturation with less ink consumption. There are specific screens for certain tasks, including highlights, shadows and solids. The benefits include reduced ink consumption, increased press stability, less substrate waste, reduced energy and setup time, improved quality of the print and reduced costs. 18. Is accurate contact proofing being done? Color accurate contract proofing leads to sign off first time" because of predictable results. The benefits include reduced materials waste (substrate, ink, paper etc.), energy and time. TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES
Sustainable Fall 2009