Business, Marketing, Products, Sustainability
What Is Eco-Friendly Printing?
Go clean and green this 2023! Whether you are an individual or a business, eco-printing is a step in the right direction to sustainability. Eco-friendly Printing is something everyone, including companies, can do right away to get stunning eco-friendly prints while saving the planet in the process.
So, what is Eco-friendly Printing? It involves the application of green innovations in the three main elements of the printing process – the printing technology, the ink, and the print materials – to minimise the impact on our environment. These green technologies help reduce pollution, waste, and energy consumption during production. It also helps reduce printing costs while saving the planet.
More eco-efficient printing technologies are on the rise. Innovators try to improve or come up with fast and efficient printing methods that consume less energy and resources and produce less waste.
Waterless Printing, for example, is an improvement from traditional offset printing which uses water to form non-images on the print. It produces VOCs or volatile organic compounds and other hazardous substances as waste. However, waterless printing eliminates all that.
Instead of water, Waterless Printing uses a layer of silicon to repel the ink. This technique does not release VOCs, reduces running time and waste, and offers a more extensive colour range and better image definition.
Inks with a petroleum or plastic base contain harmful compounds and chemicals that harm the environment. Eco-friendly printing has found a nonpolluting alternative to eco-inks. These inks use organic ingredients like soy or vegetable in their production.
Soy-based ink, in particular, is a fantastic alternative that replicates the effects of petroleum-based inks but without the toxic side effects on the environment. Some argue that it produces brighter and more vibrant colours compared to other inks.
Another well-known eco-friendly ink hails from vegetables. However, unlike soy-based inks, it does not produce the same results as its soy counterpart and is slightly more expensive.
There are notable innovations in eco-friendly printing in the print materials used. These products come from recycled or other sustainable materials that are 100% biodegradable or recyclable. The materials used also come from sustainable suppliers and use little to no chemicals in its processing.
Recystar Nature Eco-Flyers, for example, may look like regular, uncoated flyer paper but use 100% recyclable fibres in its production. The recyclable Bio Top Paper, on the other hand, uses a chlorine-free bleached process with no optical brightening agents.
Aside from paper, Eco-Friendly Printing also includes other print products like banners and pens. Helloprint, for example, offers 100% PVC-free Roller Banners Eco in its selection of environmentally friendly products. These banners come from polypropylene, a recyclable thermoplastic polymer that has high heat resistance.
Some green companies create entirely new materials to use for specific eco-products. For instance, the company NatureWorks developed a PLA-plastic made from plant fibres called Ingeo to create Vegetal Pens. This pen is 80% biodegradable and compostable. Its production uses only a third of the energy needed for basic plastic, lowering energy consumption and production costs.
Going green is more important now than ever. The faster we can reduce our carbon footprint, the quicker it takes for the planet to heal. While transitioning to more sustainable business practices takes time, eco-friendly printing is an excellent way to start.