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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable EOY 2009
• All companies involved in the packaging manufac- turing process are expected to assume responsibility for the safety of their own products as well as for the impact they have on the environment. • As much as 20 years ago, suppliers have offered chlorine-free washout solvent on the commercial market. • Thermal platemaking is limited in the number of sup- pliers and format categories. • If plate washup solvent is distilled by external spe- cialized companies, a recycling rate of 95 percent is often achieved. 12 Sustainable FLEXO END OF YEAR 2009 www.flexomag.com The demands for increased climate protection may well seem a world away from many packaging printers' day-to-day business. In the long term, however, they too will have to react to the increasing, public pressure. In today's industry, brand owners, trade chains and large packaging companies are setting high goals in terms of environmental compatibility. They document them through public campaigns, self-imposed commitments or member- ships to ecologically motivated non-profit organizations. In the future, all of the companies involved in the entire packaging manufacturing process are expected to not only assume responsibility for the safety of their own products, but also for the impact they have on the environment. The flexographic printing industry is no exception. Even a produc- tion step, such as the manufacturing of flexographic printing plates, which represents a comparably low proportion (typi- cally less than 1 percent) of the finished packaging, can make a contribution toward lowering CO2 emissions. Based on an analytical evaluation of the two alternative, conventional processes, some studies have shown that solvent-based plate processing has key advantages. In terms of eco-balance and cost efficiency, it is ahead of the field and additionally offers the opportunity of determined process optimization, allowing to further improve the environmental impact. Solvent: Solution An Analysis of Ecological Plate Processing FIGURE 1. The traditional solvent based processing method has the advantage of solvent recycling in terms of global warming potential.