Ink rolls in an offset printing machine.

GreenNY Specification: Ink

Covered Products

Lithographic ink used in lithography printing.



Lithographic printing process: The method of printing using chemically coated plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non-image areas repel ink.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions, as specified in part 51.00 of chapter 40 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations.


Standard Setting and Certifying Programs

EcoLogo™ is a North American Type I environmental leadership standard setting and third-party certification program as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14024). It has developed environmental standards for a wide range of consumer and commercial products and certifies products meeting those standards. For additional information, visit the EcoLogo website at



Biobased Content:

Affected state entities shall, to the maximum extent practicable, purchase water-based or vegetable based lithographic ink, which will reduce the amount of VOCs released into the environment.

In accordance with Article 2, section 7-a of the New York State Printing and Public Documents law, unless it is determined that the cost of printing with vegetable-based ink is significantly greater than the cost of printing with petroleum-based ink, all lithographic inks used in the production of New York State printing requirements shall contain the following minimum percentages of vegetable oil: News Inks - 40%; Sheet Fed Inks - 20%; Forms Inks - 20%; Heat Set Inks - 10%.

Item Percentage of Vegetable Oil
News Inks 40%
Sheet Fed Inks 20%
Forms Inks 20%
Heat Set Inks 10%


Heavy Metal Content:

The sum or incidental concentration levels of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium in ink shall not exceed 100 parts per million (ppm) by weight.

Recycled Content:

Affected State entities are encouraged to purchase ink that maximizes recycled content.

Environmental Performance:

Affected state entities are encouraged to purchase ink which meets or exceeds the Ecologo™ Certification Criteria Document for Printing Inks (CCD-040).


Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%). 

New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following in order of preference when purchasing items that come in packaging: 

  • Items that do not need packaging, or the packaging is part of the product. 
  • Items that come in reusable packaging. 
  • Items that come in bulk packaging. 
  • Items that come in innovative packaging that reduces the amount of packaging. 
  • Items that come in packaging that remains the property of the supplier and does not become the property of the end user under any circumstance or condition. The vendor shall certify that the packaging material will be reused, recycled, or composted, and managed in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws. 
  • Items that come in packaging that maximizes recycled or biodegradable (compostable) content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists that accept the material. 
  • Items that come in Packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable (compostable). Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists and will accept the material.