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The great story behind Lousy Ink

Date: 06-Jun-18
Author: Josh Cole

The Melbourne artists behind Lousy Ink, Mike Eleven (left) and Oli Ruskidd (right) © Lousy Ink

The Melbourne artists behind Lousy Ink, Mike Eleven (left) and Oli Ruskidd (right)

Two Australian artists are turning discarded printer ink into sustainable art supplies.

Oli Ruskidd and Mike Eleven aren't surprising champions for sustainability, being young artists from Melbourne they're passionate advocates for the environment, mental health and other social goods. What is surprising is how they've taken their passion and turned it into a product – Lousy Ink. 

Many artists aren't even aware of how sustainable, or not, their supplies are. But in 2017 Oli and Mike devised an ink that they claim is the world's first 100% recycled ink for artists.  

Lousy Ink is made from ink sourced from discarded inkjet printer cartridges which have been sent to Melbourne recycler Close the Loop. 

Before then the ink would have been either collected and stored in 80,000L containers or burnt for energy, but after finding out about the massive amounts in storage Oli and Mike decided to see if it could be put to better use. 

The end result is a high quality ink made from recycled materials, and while each bottle can vary slightly in tone and consistency it provides artists with a truly unique medium to work with. 

Planet Ark is proud of the part it plays in both Lousy Ink and Oli and Mike's art thanks to its Cartridges 4 Planet Ark campaign. Cartridges collected in boxes around the country go to Close the Loop's facility in Melbourne, becoming everything from road surfaces to pens to -  you guessed it – Lousy Ink.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 


Josh                                              Cole
Author: Josh Cole

Josh comes to Planet Ark after a stint in legal communication and from a background in print journalism. He studied Communications and Media as a mature age student in Wollongong where he re-discovered his love for the natural environment.

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