From your morning newspaper at 8 AM to the novel you can’t put down, to the graphic tee you choose for a concert—these items all owe their existence to the remarkable world of printing. Whether you’re a company looking to establish a brand identity or you’re aiming to make an impact, a printing press is a craft that offers numerous advantages. Our beloved posters, newspapers, and magazines also rely heavily on the printing press.

These printing companies generate their fair share of waste. This blog discusses the various wastes that are a byproduct of printing presses, and how companies in Dubai can contribute to zero waste and a circular economy by implementing easy procedures. Through this blog, AAKI aims to educate while helping you minimize your waste.

Wastes at a Printing Press: Table of Contents

  1. Ink Waste
  2. Paper Waste
  3. Chemical Containers and Expired Chemical Containers
  4. Damaged Products
  5. How you can make green changes at your organization


  • Ink Waste

The most commonly used item in a printing press is ink. Ranging from various colors, not all inks are sustainably sourced.

If you’re a printing press or an ink production company in Dubai, you might want to consider making use of organic solvent inks, since they are far more affordable than traditional inks, and you will be able to contribute to sustainable sourcing, sustainable packaging, and zero-emissions. However, whether the ink you use is biodegradable or not, it contains solvents that are flammable. Therefore, when it comes to disposing of these liquids, you must take caution.


  • Visit Dubai Municipality’s website to apply for a waste disposal (WDS) permit. Submit photos of the waste meant for disposal. Include the container that the ink is stored in, as this will help the recycler to make a more efficient disposal plan.
  • You are required to compress your containers before they are picked for collection. This is to ensure that the containers take up as little volume as possible. AAKI can assist you with container pressing.
  • Analysis Report from an Emirates International Accredited Center( EIAC) Lab
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  • Most cartridges can be recycled. There are designated areas locally set by the Dubai Municipality, where you can collect your ink cartridges and dispose them of safely. These cartridges are then sent for plastic and metal recycling. Contact AAKI at 8002254, to partake in closed-loop recycling, where used plastic is used to produce new cartridges. This is a great example of how a printing press can include circular economy practices.

You may contact 800(2254) or for additional information.


  • Paper Waste

Paper is commonly used in the printing industry. At the New York Times’ printing house, over 80,000 copies of newspapers go out every hour. The process is tedious, with people having to recheck the supply of paper for any damages or wrinkles. Get in touch with AAKI to recycle your paper waste – AAKI can help you re-sell paper waste by kilogram.

Here’s how you can dispose of paper waste:

  • If you have a large quantity of paper to be disposed of, you can contact the Dubai Municipality. Paper waste comes under ‘Unwanted Materials’ as per Technical Guidelines 10.
  • You can apply for a permit through the waste disposal service (WDS) system on the Dubai Municipality’s website. You will have to declare the total amounts of waste (in tons) including the waste to be generated in the next three months, since the WDS permit is valid for 3 months only.
  • Required Documents:
  • Photos of the waste (including the container it is in, and the area where it is generated or stored)
  • Disposal Fees are charged based on the type and weight of the waste. As of 2021, the disposal fee for paper is AED 150/ton.

You can contact AAKI at 800(2254) or to schedule your waste disposal with us.


  • Chemical Waste

In a printing press, solvents are used to attain the desired consistency of ink. Examples of such solvents are mineral spirits, alcohols, and petroleum spirits. When used in painting, they release VOCs into the air. If these are not disposed of properly, they can negatively impact water resources and air quality and are thus called hazardous waste.

Here’s how you can dispose of your chemical waste safely:

The Technical Guideline No. 8 Hazardous Waste Disposal of Waste Operations Department requires:

  • Photos of the waste (in container, label with manufacturing and expiry date)
  • Application form
  • Disposal request for chemicals with a flash point of below 60°C. Contact AAKI at 8002254 for assistance.
  • Certificate of Manufacturing and Expiry Dates
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  • Shipping Information

Note: If the goods were purchased locally, the proof of ownership would be the delivery receipt or delivery note and purchase order/invoice. However, if the goods were purchased from abroad, you would need to provide the following:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Bill of Entry (Customs Declaration)
  • Certificate of Country of Origin
  • Packing List
  • Purchase Order

Note: You may request these documents with your shipping company.

Note: You must press chemical containers before they are collected for disposal. Contact AAKI at 8002254 or for assistance with container compressing.


  • Defective Products

You might come across containers of chemicals or ink that are defective. Note that Dubai Municipality does not accept unused products unless expired, therefore, you will have to declare the product as ‘unfit for consumption due to damage’.

The process of applying for a waste disposal permit for defective products is the same as above, but it also includes an ‘incident report’ that you must submit. This incident report should include ____________________. The photos of the waste should clearly indicate the date of expiry as well.

Do you have defective products to dispose of? Don’t worry! AAKI is here to help you discard this. Contact 8002254 or for more information on what you should include in your incident report.


  • How you can make green changes in your organization

AAKI believes that sustainability starts slow. No matter how small your initiative might be, it creates a domino effect in achieving long-term environment friendliness.

We believe you can do this by:

  • Segregated bin policy: Contact AAKI if you require any support with bin installation. With the amount of paper, cardboard, ink toners, and plastic bins generated at a printing press, you can easily collect such waste in different bins. This would help you avoid contamination of the waste, and you might also be able to sell it to recycling companies.
  • Do not overstock: Many companies overstock with ink drums, but a large number of these drums remain unused, and then they expire. This results in an unnecessary wastage of ink. If you do have unused/expired ink as of now, you can sell it to smaller companies that do not require high print quality. Alternatively, you can send it out to recycling companies as well. Contact AAKI to resell your ink.
  • Dedicating presses to certain colors, or running similar paint jobs will reduce cleanings.

We at AAKI want to help you achieve your green goals. From consultations on how you can improve your business’ practices, to handling your waste – AAKI’s got you!

Contact 8002254 or for more information.