About the Ink on your Plastic Film

By March 15, 2019Plastic Film
custom plastic packaging

Converters of plastic film with flexographic printing  capabilities have the option to choose between a few different types of ink. As a purchaser of plastic packaging it is good to know what type of ink they are using and how it effects the environment.

What is Ink?

The ink I’m referring to here is the one used in the printing industry, not the ink for your tattoos!

As Wikipedia describes INK:

“Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design.”

Ink typically has a colorant, also known as a pigment or a dye, a resin binder, a solvent, and additives.

  • The binder bonds the dye to the plastic film and hold it together.
  • The solvent controls the viscosity.

plastic filmTypes of Ink:

There are two types of ink for use on plastic film:  solvent-based and water-based ink.

Following are their main differences.

Solvent-Based Ink

Solvent-based ink is any type of ink that is not based on water.

Due to its chemical nature, printers must comply with strict safety regulations, environmental requirements, and maintain proper ventilation at print facilities.

Water-Based Ink

Water-based ink is exactly as the word sounds; it uses water as the main ingredient to carry the pigment.

Here are some important benefits:

  • As the ink dissolves in the cleaning process, it does not leave a chemical residue.
  • It is much safer for the consumer. This is especially important for the medical and food industries.
  • Since the printing process is environmentally friendly, state or federal agencies do not impose strict regulations.
  • All of the above benefits, combined with the high quality of the print makes it a desirable option.

Advantages of Water-Based Ink on Plastic Film

Converting Magazine posted an interesting article about the advantages of water-based ink.  Read about the many advantages here.

Plastic Film

Steve Deniger, TDI’s CEO:

“We are proud to say that TDI only uses environmentally friendly, water-based ink.”


TDI has even developed a method to make water-based ink stick to the film like it is solvent-based ink during extreme cold conditions.  As a result, the print will not smear or come off in a cold place, like in a freezer.

More about TDI’s Gel Bags

What TDI Can Do For You

TDI has earned industry-wide recognition for producing high quality custom poly film since 1974.

Our technology, combined with the tenacity and knowledge of team TDI has enabled us to manufacture custom plastic packaging at its best.

At TDI, our staff delivers a personalized approach and gives full attention to every detail you require. This creates a level of customer service which is almost unheard of in the plastic film industry.

Find out about TDI’s Capabilities