Water-Based Inks Replacing Plastisol

Plastisol inks are used in the majority of screen printing shops around the globe. These inks contain phthalates which function to transform the naturally hard plastic into a soft, malleable one. These phthalates are released into the ecosystem during the printing and curing process, resulting in cumulative harm to the environment and, potentially, even to human health.


In addition to the harmful content, plastisol also doesn’t dissolve with water. Harmful chemicals must be used to strip the plastisol from the screen, and these chemicals are often-times sent down the sink.


Considering the sources and energy used to manufacture inks, water-based ink comes out ahead of plastisol. Water-based ink on a shirt is also recyclable, making water-based inks even more eco-friendly than plastisol. In addition, water-based inks have significantly less plastic content relative to plastisol and contain zero phthalates, which reduces the overall usage and disposal of chemicals and plastic fibers. Here at Threadbare, we only purchase and use water-based inks. One brand of water-based ink, in particular, is Green Galaxy, and it’s definitely our personal favorite!

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