Werner & Mertz announced it has developed a recyclable printing ink system for flexography which has been awarded Material Health Certification (MHC) GOLD. The ink was developed in cooperation with its Reyclate Initiative partners, along with ink manufacturer Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA, the EPEA Switzerland GmbH (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency), and packaging and paper company Mondi.

The Cradle-to-Cradle principle is for products to be designed from the start to go into a closed material cycle and to pose no risk to human health and the environment. The Material Health Certification is intended to confirm the safety of the solvent-based printing ink NC 270 for biological cycles. Gold certification is awarded exclusively to products that "do not contain carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxicants with plausible exposure routes," according to the MHC.

The flexographic printing ink system can be used to print polyolefin plastic sheeting such as polethylene and polyproplylene. It also is designed for the stability and resistance properties required for the stand-up pouch.  

The idea for a sustainable flexographic ink came up in the joint development project with Mondi for a completely recyclable stand-up pouch (StripPouch). The project yielded the first pouch, which, due to its mono-material and removable printed panels, can be recycled at a high-quality level. The award-winning inks were developed for the pouch because Mondi uses only flexographic printing for the StripPouch.    

By the end of 2020 the new Siegwerk NC 270 printing inks will be used in series production of the first stand-up pouch for creme soap for the Frosch Senses brand.