Printwear

April '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 2 0 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R 5 3 the environment around them. The great thing about DTG is that it is generally, and relatively "green" to begin with. By implementing some of these suggestions you can help reduce your envi- ronmental impact even more without having to make major changes in your workshop. It really isn't that hard to have a big impact on the environment with DTG. Maybe DTG actu- ally should stand for doing things greener (just kidding). PW Now with 30 years in the deco- rated apparel industry, Brian Walker started off screen print- ing in the mid-80s with his own shop while still in high school. He started i-Group Technologies in 2008 to manufacture the Viper line of pretreatment ma- chines, and in 2013 Walker started Image Armor LLC which finds solutions for the direct-to-garment industry and also the Image Armor line of pretreatments and inks. ing shirts and typically there is next to no "waste," however the cleaning cycles of DTG print- ers do produce a cocktail of inks and cleaning type solutions. This DTG waste cocktail should not be poured down a drain in the liq- uid state. In the current DTG world, you will typically have two categories of print- ers. One is a "bulk" ink delivery system where inks are filled in bottles or re- fillable cartridges. The other inks are typically sold in bags or plastic cartridges that are then consumed. In bottle filled systems, though typically there is not much waste as the bottles are constantly refilled, there will be times when you have waste ink, either from the bottles or the waste drain tube, to get rid of. So, what to do with that ink? Well, you definitely do not want to flush it down the drain. But several things can be done. If you have ac- cess to a conveyor dryer, you could spread the ink out in a pie tin and dry it by run- ning it though the dryer several times to fully cure it. Typically, most inks are not a hazard in their cured (non-liquid) states. At that point, it is a solid and can be disposed of properly. Ink in plastic cartridges are considered a one-time use type product. These often end up in landfills where the plastic that makes up the cartridges will not degrade over time. Many OEM and third-party businesses often offer a service where the used cartridges can be sent back, typically for free, so they can be recycled properly or cleaned out and re-used again. This helps reduce the environmental impact by re- ducing landfill waste. As with any chemical or product, even though DTG products are typically more environmentally friendly, the best advice is to ask the manufacturer for the proper way to dispose of the materials and ALWAYS do it in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations. Most people don't give much thought to how their decorating processes can affect Start your green work on the front end by using certified and organic products when you can.

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