Soy Based Ink Available for Home (and Office) Printers

December 1, 2010 Five comments View all articles in Office

The nation's leading naturally produced ink is made from soybean oil. Since its development in 1987, soy-based ink has been widely used for newspapers, magazines, commercial printing, packaging, and business forms. It has also recently become available to consumers in both toner and cartridge form. Using soy-based toner and ink in your office would help stimulate the US economy and diminish America's dependence on foreign resources such as petroleum oil, as well as have a major impact on the health of the environment. So why is your office still using standard, petroleum-based ink?

Petroleum-based inks contain petrochemicals that, when released into the atmosphere, contaminate soil and groundwater and emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Not only do VOCs contribute to smog formation, they can also be an irritant for print shop workers. Altogether, petroleum-based ink creates enormous amounts of carcinogens, hazardous wastes, and pollution. Soy-based inks, on the other hand, provide the solution to the printing industry's environmental, health, and safety concerns without sacrificing quality.


  • Soy-based inks release less than one-fifth the amount of VOCs emitted by petroleum-based inks.
  • Soy-based ink contains 22-100 percent non-toxic soybean oil, the same American-grown ingredient used in thousands of foods and beverages. So not only is soy-based ink a sustainable and renewable resource, it is biodegradable and disposed of more efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Producing soy-based inks requires only .5 percent of the total energy needed to produce petroleum-based inks.
  • Soy-based inks also spread 15 percent further than petroleum-based inks, so they reduce the number of landfill-bound containers.
  • The soybean oil's clarity requires less ink, which allows pigments to reach their full potential and result in rich, vivid colors that come to life on the page.
  • Because soy-based ink provides more intense color, printers may not use as much ink. And printing more materials with less ink means a reduction in cost.
  • Soy-based inks promote paper recycling because they're more easily stripped from paper during the de-inking process than petroleum inks.
  • The price of soybean oil is expected to remain fairly constant since it is an abundant and available product, but petroleum oil's cost is expected to rise as manufacturers exhaust the resource more over time.

Consumer demand has the power to influence the current environmental, economic, and political issues; it's the little changes we make over time that achieve the greatest, long-term results. So request soy inks the next time you visit your printer; talk to your boss about switching your office's petroleum-based toner and/or cartridges with soy-based alternatives; switch the ink cartridges in your home office printer and/or fax machine with soy; and suggest your friends and coworkers do the same!

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Visit (Search for SoyPrint) or to purchase soy-based printer and fax machine toners manufactured by SoyPrint and Bio-Renew. And to find out how to purchase inkjet cartridges, contact SoyPrint directly through their website.


PM on March 5, 2011 at 5:45 a.m.

Good article, some links would make it better. Where can I get it!

Chasing Green on March 5, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.

Soy ink is still not easy to find for consumer use but we've added what links we are aware of.

Ted on March 13, 2012 at 7:05 a.m.

You missed a very important link when adding stores. We offer a full line of Soyprint toner, as well as a full line of re-manufactured inkjets from the USA. Please share our link, as we are not only green, but we give back as well.

Joanne L. on Sept. 22, 2014 at 11:45 a.m.

These Guys are where our office buys from:
They have a great staff and service some large accounts like Whole Foods and us at Green River Labs !!! :-)

Vatrice Lanier on June 4, 2017 at 6:51 p.m.

Environment First Printing has over 15,000 clients, including Whole Foods that are protecting the environment by printing green with soy-based toner. Most of our clients are also saving money. If you want additional information, please contact me at:
Vatrice Lanier
National Account Manager

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