Most printing nowadays uses petroleum based ink because it is fast drying. Petroleum however, releases up to 30% Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere as the petrol and alcohol evaporates into the air whilst drying. It is also harder to recycle and and clean so stronger chemicals must be used during the recycling process.
At Ethically Creative, we only work with printers who use vegetable based inks such as soy, linseed, tung, castor, canola, and safflower oils. Working with soy bean for example, releases as little as 2-4% VOCs into the atmosphere as opposed to the 30% which common petroleum based inks does. It’s also easier to clean during the recycling process, using only water instead of chemicals.