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Blue Ash's BCM Ink turns waste product into award-winning packaging ink

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Two companies on opposite sides of the Ohio River collaborated to create an award-winning ink product that's made from recycled materials.

BCM Inks of Blue Ash and Close the Loop of Hebron, Kentucky, created a process that turns leftover ink from consumer printer cartridges into an ink that can be printed on cardboard packaging—in industry terms, corrugated printing. The ink is called Post Consumer Recycled Black, and was introduced to the market last fall.

The new product won a gold award at the 25th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation in the Innovation and Sustainability category. Other gold-winning brands in the same category were Campbell’s Soup Company, Heinz, Pepperidge Farm, Unilever and Gillette. The prestigious international award recognizes industry innovation and collaboration.

BCM Inks is a 25-year-old company that provides inks, services and products to the corrugated printing industry. Close the Loop USA recycles toner and ink jet cartridges. The Hebron facility opened in 2007.

"When people bring their ink cartridges to be recycled, up to 13 percent of the ink is still in the cartridge," says BCM Inks' Vice President Rob Callif. "Close the Loop was recycling the cartridge but extracting and collecting the ink. They didn't know what to do with it. So we took the leftover ink and developed a way to turn it into a water-based black ink that can be used in corrugated printing."

PCR Black saves over 200,000 ink jet cartridges from the landfill for every 450-pound drum of ink made, Callif says.

The entry was reviewed, judged and selected by a 10-member panel of independent packaging industry experts. The award was announced May 16 at the DuPont Awards Banquet in Wilmington, Delaware.

By Feoshia H. Davis
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