Black Algae Ink: The Next Big Thing in Eco-Friendly Packaging
As the promotional industry looks for new ways to be environmentally conscious with its products, finding natural dyes and inks are becoming more common.
We reported last year that an apparel company was using black algae to create dye for a T-shirt (which later cost $110). Now black algae dye is starting to pop up on packaging and paper products, too, such as at EcoEnclose, which makes sustainable packaging for e-commerce brands. The algae ink is being used on branded packaging tape and on shipping boxes.
The benefit of an algae-based ink is that it avoids the use of petroleum-based inks, which are more harmful to the environment.
Have you made the switch to Black Algae Ink?
Algae ink is carbon negative - every bucket sequesters the same carbon as two trees. If you print your shipping boxes, mailers, retail boxes or anything else paper in black ink, consider making the #sustainablepackaging leap to algae. pic.twitter.com/d8bY8AZ7Aq
— EcoEnclose (@ecoenclose) January 28, 2022
"Ink makes up a small fraction of each individual package, so brands often overlook this as an important area for sustainability progress," Sarah Hawkins, product innovation lead for EcoEnclose, said in a press release. "But the world will consume 4 million tons of ink in 2023, so printing ink as a whole has a big ecological footprint. We have a vision of working with Living Ink to replace these pigments, generally derived from fossil fuels and nonrenewable minerals, with algae cells and other carbon sequestering alternatives. Every time we can offer algae ink in a new application is one step closer to this ultimate vision."
Kitting has also become a popular choice within promo, as companies have been sending care packages, return-to-work kits or work-from-home gifts to employees. Printing on the packaging itself ties the whole thing together and turns it into a branding experience from the first moment without any unboxing necessary.
And, like on the apparel side of the industry, customers and end-users want products that they can use with a clear conscience. Packaging is just as important, as customers can say that their products are eco-friendly from start to finish, top to bottom.