To help drive the change to more sustainable business practices and help its customers better navigate the associated compliance issues, Markem-Imaje has joined the European Printing Inks Association (EuPIA).
Concerns about safety and sustainability have become increasingly important stakes for governments and consumers worldwide. Everything is under scrutiny, even down to the inks used to code products with data such as best before dates and traceability details. Joining EuPIA reinforces Markem-Imaje’s already strong position on ink compliance by enabling it to directly shape regulations and make its advice to manufacturers even better.
As explained in its white paper, “ Exploring how sustainable development can be good for business ,” safety, sustainability and compliance are at the heart of Markem-Imaje’s product development and manufacturing practices. For example, its Orange-Grey-Black list was a pioneering step among coding suppliers. Not required by law, this self-imposed, pre-emptive list of prohibited and restricted substances has, for years, helped safeguard future compliance should any new directive be introduced.
• Orange: Substances not subject to lawful restriction but continuously monitored as may be subject to changes in regulations, standards and customer requests
• Grey: Substances with lawful restriction, normative and/or from customers. Use over the internal limit is forbidden except under internal derogation
• Black: Substances Markem-Imaje refuses to use in the formulation of its products but are not subject to any lawful restriction
Factoring in the extent to which usage may affect risk, EuPIA also maintains an exclusion list which prohibits some substances, such as raw materials for the manufacture of printing inks, which are classified as CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic).
Members must abide by this exclusion list as well as comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirements which were introduced by the association in 2016. In terms of product coding, GMP is a system to ensure compliance with standards related to the design and manufacture of Food Contact Materials (FCM) inks so as to minimize food safety risk.
These standards are aligned with guidelines and requirements from agencies that oversee food and beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, medical devices and dietary supplements so products are of a sufficiently high and consistent safety and quality for their intended use.
EuPIA also encourages its member companies to follow policies of key global programs with similar objectives:
• Responsible Care® : A global, voluntary initiative where chemical company signatories agree to commit to improving performance in various areas such occupational health and safety as well protecting the environment
• Coatings Care® : An international, voluntary program fully compatible with Responsible Care but focusing specifically on paint and printing ink industries
“EuPIA is a great organization that, for many years, has been working to promote sustainable development, with a high level of product stewardship activity. Our core values as a company are well-aligned with this vision,” observes Gabriela Leszczyk, Global Product Compliance Director, Markem-Imaje. “We follow GMP and have a long track record of pursuing ink safety and sustainability initiatives. We look forward to bringing our considerable experience and insight to the association and to helping influence any future development. Membership will also ensure our recommendations to customers will continue to remain at the cutting edge.”