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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Compost How To: Ink in Vegetable Garden Compost

Posted by admin on October 28, 2008

I went to Yahoo Answers to get some Compost How To regarding contents that you add to your garden composter. I was concerned about the ink on the shredded paper and cardboard that I introduce into my garden composter. I found this question on the topic.


How about the ink on cash register receipts from the store? How about the ink on cereal boxes and other packaging? What about the glue in corrugated cardboard boxes? This compost is for vegetable gardening.


Read on in the comments for a detaile answer that was given on this topic.

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One Response to “Compost How To: Ink in Vegetable Garden Compost”
  1. fbfriends says:

    Pigments combine with a "vehicle" and a "binder" to create specific inks for various printing projects. The pigment and the vehicle are the bad boys. Paper composting and mulching is haunted by the specter of the heavy metals used as pigment in commercial inks in the past. For years, the vehicle was petroleum-based, but the industry is slowly switching over to soy- or vegetable-based inks. However, inks labeled "soy-based" are still permitted (and likely) to contain some amount of petroleum.

    Pigments themselves still contain heavy metals such as zinc and copper, although overall amounts of heavy metals have been reduced. Although toxins are present in quite small amounts, all the sources I consulted agreed that contemporary printed newsprint, including colored newsprint, and cardboard boxes are safe for garden use. Glossy inserts, shiny ink of any sort, magazines, and colored paper do not make appropriate compost or mulch materials, due to a higher prevalence of toxics within the paper and ink, and likelihood of "de-inking" (ink sliding off the paper into your garden).

    One further thing: If you're gardening in an urban or suburban area, ink is a drop in the contamination bucket. It's far more likely that your soil will be contaminated by other sources, such as lead paint, pavement runoff, or car exhaust that washes from building walls into the soil. Get your soil tested for heavy metals before food gardening and avoid food gardening within 10 feet of a building. What is toxic is often invisible to the eye.
    References :

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