EU Environmental Print Agency bans green ink

According to a leaked press release that has been published on the green website GreenerMattersMost, the EEPA, which is responsible for regulating the environmental credentials of all print across the EU, is to ban green ink and fabric dies from September 2011. Why you may well ask?


It seems it has 4 times the carbon footprint of red, blue and yellow ink and uses many toxic chemicals to make including; titanium dioxide, heavy metals, aluminium powder, copper-zinc alloy, propylene glycol, propyl alcohol, toluene and glyco-ether. By contrast, black ink has a negative effect as it uses carbon.

The ban will affect print, advertising, promotional materials, logos, ink jet printers and even national flags.

A number of brands will be affected, the most notable being Land Rover, Tropicana, TicTac, Heineken and Starbucks who have just undergone a million dollar rebrand. Ebay and Google have already agreed to change the green letters in their logos to orange. Lloyds TSB are the only banking brand in the UK who will have to change their logo, but the most costly rebrand will be BP’s.

Other European brands who will need to change their logos are the French fish soup company Poisson d’Avril, the Polish fashion retailer Primaaprilisowego,  the Turkish truck maker Nisanaptal and the German apple snapps, Aprilscherz.

The ban also affects the art world, Spain are withdrawing the film ‘Día de los Inocentes’, by the celebrated art cinema director Victoria Gallardo, from the Cannes Film Festival as it was shot in green light only.  The Czech Republic TV 5 channel have cancelled their new environmental version of Big Brother, Blázen Dubna.  Irish artist, Aibreán Amadán, winner of the 2007 Turner Prize, has removed three works, all part of ‘The Green Trilogy’ (all painted in green) from the Tate Modern.

Claude du Thiers, the EEPA’s director general, has commented, “In the interest of climate change sacrifices have to be made”. As the EU logo uses yellow and blue this will present no problem but a number of countries are up in arms because they will be forced to change their national flags. Ireland, Wales, Portugal and Italy are the worse EU countries affected.

The decision has also resulted in the Norwegians deciding not to launch their new national flag that was to feature green fur trees and yellow herrings on a blue background.

Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania and Azerbaijzan have all agreed to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest. Wales says they will perform but under protest and plan to have a super Welsh group featuring Tom Jones, Duffy, Shirley Bassey and Susan Boyle. They will also be releasing a version of Jones’ classic ‘Green Green Flag of Home,’ to raise funds to take legal action against the EEPA.

But the worse people affected will be those in the green arena, Greenpeace, the Green Party, Green & Blacks and many other green organisations, brands and products. Sian Verde of the Green Party said, “This is a ridiculous ruling and is exactly why we need less EU controls, first it was bendy bananas, now it’s green ink, where will it stop?” The Green Party have started a pitch through the BAR for a branding agency to rename the party. Greenpeace are planning a protest but as yet aren’t sure what.

Regulations have already had a massive impact upon the print ink industry. Strict regulations limit the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as a result, ink chemists have been forced to use organic solvents with water. The ink industry is the second largest consumer of carbon black, which obviously reduces the carbon footprint of many printed documents. Other inorganic materials such as clays serve as fillers or extenders, which primarily reduces the cost of pigments have also been banned. Avril Fou, Communications Director of the Printers & Press Association commented, “This is a real challenge and means we need to rethink CMYK, because if C and Y mix we are now liable for massive fines.”

The EEPA have yet to publish guidelines on the use on green on websites but it’s expected this will be released within the next week.

Links – EEPA report

Interview on YouTube with EEPA’s Bo Peng

Top green songs

  • Chris Arnold

    Another example of EU insanity.

  • Darian Watts

    This so doesn’t surprise me. You put a group of beaurocrats together in Brussels and it becomes a mad house. Another example of One Flew Over the EU Nest. Another example was banning the sale of seeds from old vegetable varieties. Another directive banned 5 000 supplements. And another – Himalaya salt, ginger tea, green tea, and fish oils are among the 156 health products have been banned as dietary supplements as these products are being reclassified as medicines.

  • Sarah

    So what do we say to the kids. “Now Tommy if you what to grow up big and strong you need to eat up your thingies.”

  • Sarah

    ‘Do the green thing’ website is going have to change to ‘do the good thing’.

  • Robert Beattie

    Very good. April fools Ladies and Gents?

  • simon meadwell

    This is a great partnership in my mind. McLaren secure more finance, GSK secure the technical innovation, brilliance and engineering know-how. My only concern is the McLaren/Vodafone/Santander Red theme now blends into an orange. Will they get the brand sign off?