Traditionally, there was a time in screen-printing when the most crucial aspect was ensuring affordable prices and the highest quality of both clothing and prints. Of course, those are still crucial to any screen-printing business, but with rising environmental issues, many companies and consumers are turning toward more environmentally conscious business practices.

In the screen printing business, customers and companies are working to become eco-friendly choices, and ethical screen printing is growing bigger and better for the planet entirely. Companies should use and offer customers environmentally-friendly options to shift toward a more ecologically responsible screen printing process.

Water-Based Ink

While plastisol inks are famous for their longevity and affordability, they do contain PVC.

If a company does offer plastisol inks, they should make sure their plastisol is phthalate-free and that the highest safety standards are using during the process. Many professional screen-printing companies have managed to place eco-friendly safeguards to keep the use of plastisol and its PVC components from harming the environment by re-using and proper disposal.

Additionally, with innovation in screen printing, eco-friendly cleaning chemicals make the entire process even more environmentally conscious. There are eco-friendly degreasers, emulsion remover, pallet adhesive, wash ink, and plastisol ink remover.

However, water-based inks are evolving into an alternative ink choice that provides an eco-friendly option. Water-based inks are PVC-free and phthalate-free. Some water-based inks feature soy or plant-based carriers that emit very few VOCs. There are even screen-printing inks that are leaving petroleum entirely behind by using algae cells.

Water-based inks are free of CFCs, HCFCs, aromatic hydrocarbons, or any volatile solvents. They are free of heavy metals, lead, and do not contain any toxic chemicals.

Eco-Conscious Awareness

Since the movements first rush to markets to answer consumer and company demand, it is worth mentioning that, unfortunately, not everything marked as “green” may be authentic products. Additionally, simply because the ink is marked as eco-friendly and water-based, if the company or business using the ink is not recycling it or disposing of them properly, the green factor no longer exists.

That’s why a company needs to understand how to use and adequately handle its inks in production. An experienced screen-printing business will implement the proper protocol for byproducts with correct processing and filtering. There are various ways for companies to repurpose and re-use ink byproducts. Several chemical waste companies can pick up the byproducts where they can be processed in an entirely safe manner.

A great shop invests in a filtration system for wastewater. Many states already require a certain amount of filtration for wastewater, such as California.

Washout booth filtration systems are specifically designed to remove any leftover potential harmful waste solids from the screen cleaning process while protecting plumbing and the environment. They’re placed directly under the washout booth and filter out any byproducts from water, allowing an eco-conscious company to run a greener shop. Washout booth filtration systems typically work by using a disposable filter that catches any big particles immediately—the wastewater proceeds through three other reusable screens of increasingly smaller and smaller mesh. Next, filtered water will flow into a pump holding tank, which triggers a sump pump, pushing the water into the final stages, usually featuring one or two micron filters, providing an eco-friendly screen cleaning process.


When you screen print as a large or a small business, there is more than just ink waste to be conscious of. Rags for cleaning, unused ink, clean-up materials, empty containers, used film, cardboard boxes, and possibly a dozen other objects are used during the process that may end up in the garbage. Recycling, not just the waste from a screen-printing business, but offering products created from materials that can also be recycled—should be another priority for an eco-friendly screen printing shop.

For instance, a shop should learn and understand that their old film positives can be recycled. All it takes is a bit of research on the businesses part to find organizations in their area that can help them understand what can be recycled and how to keep up with any recycling changes.

Even old misprinted shirts can be cut into rags and used for cleaning, empty containers can be recycled, and used cardboard boxes can be re-printed for print shop branding or recycled as well.

Is screen printing eco-friendly? It’s a complicated answer, but steps are being taken more and more each day by companies to shift toward better earth-friendly solutions. It’s important to us at MSPDesign Group to offer a wide range of environmentally friendly options, from the inks we use to the very products we offer.

Water-based inks are available with us. We have chosen our product offerings with meticulous care to balance exceptional quality and eco-friendliness—materials such as 100% cotton, ideal for making soft shirts and organic cotton tote bags. Additionally, you’ll find many of our products created from recycled materials, reducing the impact on our plant as well as organic items that cut down on the use of pesticides. Furthermore, our vast selection of eco-friendly options includes bamboo, natural wood, stone paper, and other completely natural items that reduce the usage of trees for traditional paper goods.

At MSPDesign, our mission is to be as eco-friendly as possible while offering the highest-quality, most comprehensive range of screen-printing products on the market today. Helping your brand get the recognition it deserves while being environmentally conscious is important to us. If you are looking for the best eco-friendly screen printing process for your brand to help connect and engage your customers, you’ve come to the right place! If you are interested in hearing more about our environmentally friendly, recycled products and which green items are suitable for your brand, feel free to contact us at any time for a consultation or any questions and comments.

Contact us quickly through our website, email us at [email protected], or call us a +1 (833) 978-0076. Our excellent customer service team is happy to help.

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Published On: July 19th, 2021 / Categories: Resources / Tags: /