Many traditional printing companies use chlorine-based bleaches for certain types of printing. Toxic chemicals are released into the water, soil, and air when these bleached papers are discarded. To elaborate, the paper emits methane gas as it decomposes—that’s 25 times more toxic than CO2!
In addition to harmful bleaching practices, many printing companies use technology that emits potentially dangerous amounts of ozone. For reference, ozone (O3) is a highly unstable and reactive form of oxygen that can cause debilitating side effects on the human body.
In reaction, several printing companies have introduced sustainable printing processes. Keep reading to learn more about green printing and how The Print Authority is setting an example of optimal green printing practices.
What is Green Printing?
Green printing is the practice of using renewable energy resources, reducing the use of energy and greenhouse emissions, and using recycled materials. For example, a printing service may use recycled paper to print their products.
Although there is no official standard to determine green printing processes, an environmentally-minded printer should utilize the most eco-friendly paper; reduce waste ink, solvents, and toxic chemicals, and be willing to use natural inks such as soy and other vegetable inks. Below, we list a few advancements in printing that promote sustainability
Advancements in Technology
For large format projects, such as signage, there is a variety of plastics available that are biodegradable. When requesting environmentally friendly plastics you will want to request a plant-based hydro-biodegradable or petroleum-based oxo-biodegradable plastic.
There are numerous recycled paper products available and will range from as low as 10% recycled content to up to 100% recycled content. Most of the more available recycled paper products are in the range of 30% to 50% recycled content.
When looking for environmentally friendly inks, you can request that your materials be printed with soy inks. Soy inks are sustainable and do not release any Volatile Organic Compounds into the air when being produced. In addition, soy ink is easier to remove from paper, therefore making paper recycling an easier process.
Environmentally Friendly Packaging
When packaging items for shipment, cardboard-based boxes are the most popular way to stay green, as they are easily recycled. For packing material, you can utilize recyclable types of fill such as Kraft paper, or shredded corrugated. For more delicate items, there is formed cardboard available to be inserted into boxes.
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