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As a tattoo artist, you know that one tattoo shop generates a lot of waste each day. For safety’s sake, we have to rely on various single-use products. Unfortunately, many of these items are plastic-based and end up in landfills or the ocean.
Thankfully, some companies are starting to produce environmentally friendly tattoo supplies.
Apart from buying biodegradable tattoo supplies, you as a tattoo artist can also make eco-conscious tattoo choices when it comes to the type of tattoo machines you buy.
Before we look at tattoo products on the market that can turn your shop into a sustainable tattoo shop, let’s first look at why you should ditch single-use plastic.
The Low-Down on Plastic
The terrifying truth is that around 8 million metric tonnes of plastic land in the ocean each year. This amount could easily double as the demand for single-use plastic grows. Sadly, the tattoo industry is contributing more to plastic pollution with tattoos becoming more acceptable and mainstream.
If plastic were harmless, we would have nothing to worry about. The truth, however, is that plastic waste is choking the planet; it is polluting the air, water, and soil.
The tattoo ink caps we use, the cord and machine bags, even the polystyrene cups we use are landing up in places it shouldn’t be. So, to save the planet and the animals inhabiting it, including ourselves, we must make a conscious effort to use less plastic, especially the single-use kind, and other non-recyclable materials.
As mentioned, more and more companies are starting to produce eco tattoo supplies. But before we look at two of the most-used products in a tattoo shop and find their plastic-free substitute, let’s discuss eco tattoo machines.
Eco Tattoo Machine & Supplies
What is an Eco Tattoo Machine?
No, it’s not a brand. An eco tattoo machine is any tattoo machine that is built to last using as few as possible plastic parts. The good news is that most reputable players in the tattoo industry use metal to make their tattoo machines. Metal can be recycled time and time again without the process altering its properties, so if your tattoo machine stops working and you can’t fix it, you don’t have to worry about it ending up in a landfill.
But to put your mind totally at ease, you have to invest in a durable, high-quality tattoo machine. A good example of such a machine is made by Redscorpion.
This tattoo machine is made of cast iron. Not only does this make it an eco tattoo machine, but the cast iron also ensures unbeatable electric and magnetic connectivity. This means you can expect a tattoo machine that delivers accurately, hit after hit.
Professionals who use the Redscoprion machine won’t hesitate to share that they’ve never experienced such smooth running and clean lines from any other machine.
The frame is cut and processed with precision and guarantees high-quality performance. Such manufacturing care also stops any machine errors right in their tracks. This coil tattoo machine is truly top of the range—you’ll be using it for years to come.
If you’re looking to invest in a machine made from recyclable material in the event that it stops working and you have to discard it, then choosing a Redscoprion coil tattoo machine is worth your money.
What are Eco Tattoo Supplies?
Of course, equipment like tattoo guns, autoclaves, and other big appliances used in the tattoo shop are the least of our worries when it comes to plastic pollution. How many single-use plastic ink cups, clip cord sleeves, machine covers, and more do we use in just one day? If you’re doing a highly intricate colour piece, you can use up to 12 or more ink cups for one client! That is a lot of plastic.
Here are three eco tattoo supplies you can use instead of their plastic counterparts. Do keep in mind that there are many more. This is just to give you an idea of what is possible.
- EZTAT2 ECO-Friendly cartridge pen machine cover bags can be usd in any pen type machines or tubes and rca,dc clip cords.
- Made of compostable materials, it’s highly-biodegradable and recyclable, safe for people and the environment.
- Helps maintain a safe, Hygienic work environment.
- Size: 2" X 6.5" (53mm X 160mm), 200pcs/box.
- Industry classical black color.
Our clients’ and our own health and safety should always be on top of our list of concerns.
To keep everything sterile and clean, it is important to use a new pen cover, as well as clip cord covers with every client.
This quickly adds up to a mountain of single-use plastics. Not if you use EZTAT2’s eco-friendly disposable plastic products.
They’re made from highly compostable materials and won’t spend years drifting around in the ocean, entangling sea life.
The price is also worth a mention as it is more affordable than the plastic covers we usually buy.
The only thing we have to mention is that these pen sleeves don’t fit all makes of tattoo pens. The FK Irons Spektra Flux Rotary, for example, is too wide. So, be sure to check the measurements against that of your machine before buying!
Remember the bucket filled with plastic mentioned above? Well, on a good day, one tattoo artist can add up to 20 tattoo ink cups to that bucket! That averages 120 a week, 480 a month, and a whopping 5860 per year!
You may think that these tiny cups won’t do much harm but if you look at these numbers and the number of tattoo artists there are all over the world, the issue becomes clear.
These disposable ink cups are made from 100% PLA, which means it is biodegradable, recyclable and safe for the environment. They are designed in an angular shape that helps stabilize the ink cups and prevents spillage.
They come in small, medium, and large sizes at 200 pieces per pack. Best yet, the packaging is recyclable too!
- New Dent Resistant Slim Non BPA Aluminum Tin: All in 1 Aftercare: stretched ear lobe care, ear lubricant for gauges, piercing aftercare, piercing bumps, tattoo, tattoos, body art, color loss, fading. Stretching oil for gauges alternative: holey moisturizer, reduces pain, reduces redness, less chapping, insertion of tapers and oversized plugs go in easier
- Tattoo Aftercare Product: moisturizing ointment, tattoo butter, non comedogenic, does not clog pores, allowing new ink, dyes, pigments of tattoos to be more vibrant, pronounced skin. Piercing Aftercare: If applied often after initial piercing; decreases piercing bumps
- Native American herbs of Aloe Vera, Calendula, Comfrey, Chickweed, St. John’s Wort are recognized for skin healing. Handcrafted CO Shea Butter and CO Coconut oil, and CO Olive oil shield against moisture loss, hydrates, and nourishes
- Tattoo You All in 1 Aftercare is Non Gmo, Herbal infused, Small batch, No Beeswax, Truly Vegan, Cruelty Free, Handmade by a USA Herbalist
- Packaged in the No Tree Was Harmed Earth Safe Sustainable Packaging: in a 1 ounce Bamboo Kraft Paperboard Jar, shrink banded, wrapped in Bamboo Kraft Paper, and placed in a Bamboo Kraft mailer that is secure, and damage resistant. Nature's Eco-friendly Packaging Solution, No Plastic, No Guilt
By recommending this tattoo aftercare lotion to your client, you can make even more of a difference.
This all-in-one aftercare balm comes in a “no tree was harmed” bamboo cardboard jar. It contains aloe vera, calendula, chickweed, St. John’s Wort, and other ingredients known to help tattoos heal faster.
As a bonus, this tattoo aftercare lotion is vegan and cruelty-free. You can endorse it without feeling an ounce of guilt—no plastic, no animal products, no animal testing.
It is our duty to protect the planet and every living animal on it. Unfortunately, we work in an industry that makes use of a lot of single-use plastic. In just one day, one tattoo artist can fill a bucket with all the plastics and other non-recyclables they used.
By making a few small changes, like choosing a durable eco tattoo machine made from metal and not a lot of plastic, we can start to make a difference to the number of plastic in landfills and the ocean. There are also companies that are shifting their focus to producing biodegradable tattoo supplies. And guess what, these products don’t differ in price by too much—some eco-friendly items are even cheaper.
We hope this article helps to sway you to make your shop as environmentally friendly as possible.