ECO-FRIENDLY: First order produced on water-based printing press

Sirane's water-based printing press

THE first commercial orders printed on our new environmentally friendly water-based printing press have now been fulfilled and sent to the customer.

Sirane made the million-pound investment in 2020 – with additional manufacturing space incorporating the new state-of-the-art Bobst (F&K) printing press.

Following a period of set-up and testing of the press – believed to be the first in the UK to operate solely water-based printing – it is now ready to print.

Peter Ralten, head of specialist packaging for Sirane, said: “We have built up a lot of experience using water-based technologies as we have been applying our environmentally water-based coatings in house for a number of years.

“The time was right to extend the use of water-based technologies further into our printing capabilities. The result is that in our recently opened specialist packaging plant in Telford, you will only find water-based technologies, which are used for coating, bonding and printing within our Earth Packaging range.”

The number one benefit in the use of water-based inks vs solvent-based is the environmental effects of each ink system. The vehicle agent (the body of an ink that is mixed with colour pigmentation) in solvent inks are made of up 100% volatile organic compounds (VOCs), whereas your typical water-based inks, by definition, contain high levels of water. These environmental effects trickle throughout our entire production process as water-based inks can be cleaned using only water and soap whereas solvents require additional VOC-carrying solvents.

Andy Peevor, print manager for Sirane, said: “It’s great to print using such an impressive printing press. We are getting fantastic results using the right equipment, inks and plates. We have made sure we have added all the right technologies such as special doctor-blade systems and drying capacity to the press.”

Water-based inks are still a relatively new technology for flexible packaging, which means we get asked many questions by customers. Our operations manager for specialist packaging, Phil Perrin, explained: “The pigments which create the print that you are looking at, are not different. Once the print has dried we actually find it more stable as water-based inks are inactive. Solvent-based inks are active and can re-wet. You don’t have this problem with the new technology we are using.”

Sirane’s range of plastic-free packaging solutions includes our paper-based stand-up pouches, Earthpouch, and paper-based flow-wrap film Earthfilm. These are the products which in particular will be run on the new printing press.

We also offer both compostable and paper-based absorbent pads, and products such as compostable cling-film compostable shrink-film for fresh produce and bio-films, as part of our popular and growing Earth Packaging range.

In addition, Sirane offers a range of board-based products, including our new recyclable sandwich skillet, Earthwedge. Many of our other board products, including cake boards, patisserie boards, pizza boards, etc, can be offered using eco-friendly coating which mean the products can be recycled after use.

We also have solutions for the horticultural market – such as our plastic-free Earthboard Tree-Guards, which can be used to protect saplings.

Sirane is an innovative packaging development-to-manufacture company, with expertise in absorbency and material science. Specialisms include bags and pouches, absorbent products, shelf-life extension and dual-ovenable products.

It has four main divisions: food packaging; medical & healthcare; horticultural and industrial. The company is based in Telford, Shropshire, with additional manufacturing in Guadalajara (Mexico) and Moscow (Russia).

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