Sustainable printing methods are becoming more and more popular as individuals and businesses work to reduce their environmental footprint. Advances in technology allow print suppliers to produce sustainable printed material with no effect on quality.
Understanding what sustainable printing methods are available in the market is important if your business wants to show its eco-friendly credentials. To get you started, here are five of the latest sustainable printing methods.
1. LED UV Printing
LED UV is the perfect printing method for brochures, booklets, leaflets and promotional material. Using ultraviolet light for an instant drying process, colours are left more vivid and the designs are much sharper — creating a lasting impact.
In terms of the environmental viability of LED UV, it’s an exceptionally ‘green’ printing method. Firstly it uses much less power than traditional print-drying technology and the instant on/off functionality reduces standby consumption between jobs and reduces overall CO2 emissions.
Secondly, the instant drying process means there’s no need for an anti-set off powder spray or a sealing coat.
2. Recycled Paper 101
Paper or stock choice can influence how sustainable a printing method actually is. It can be confusing with so much choice out there, but hopefully, this will help clear things up.
We’re often led to believe we should only use recycled paper to be more green. The truth is, virgin fibres are needed to maintain the paper cycle. Without new fibres from new trees, the paper cycle can’t be maintained.
Recycled fibres degrade after several uses and the paper industry needs fresh fibre to keep the renewable cycle going. As long as the new fibres are from sustainably-managed forests, you have the green light on using virgin paper or recycled paper.
3. Digital Printing
Digital printing doesn’t require a printing plate to complete the job. The ink sits on the top layer of the substrate, so this process produces significantly less waste than more conventional methods that require a plate.
Digital print is great for smaller print runs. Another benefit of having no plate is that digital printing can be done quicker than other methods. Once printing begins, a machine can complete up to 4,800 sheets per hour. If you need a smaller number of prints, digital printing is a very cost-effective method to use.
4. Carbon Balanced Paper and Print
If a printer is using Carbon Balanced Paper, it means the average CO2 created during the entire paper production and mill delivery have been offset. Printing suppliers choosing to offer this paper as a stock option are allowing their clients to select a more environmentally friendly option for their print jobs.
Carbon Balance Printers are a step up from Carbon Balanced Paper as it involves measuring the CO2 outputs of the entire company. Once this is determined, the print supplier invests in ways in which its CO2 output can be lessened or even reversed to balance the entire print process.
A Carbon Balanced Printer is always looking to improve how they work to make sure they reduce their CO2 emissions year on year. Once all the possible measures have been taken and the CO2 output is at an absolute minimum, the company will offset the unavoidable carbon.
You can spot a piece of Carbon Balanced Print when you spot the logo. When you choose to use Carbon Balanced Paper, printed by a Carbon Balanced Printer, you can be confident you’re choosing one of the most sustainable print solutions available.
5. Uncoated Paper
Uncoated paper is an innovative printing method that has incredible results on the LED UV press.
While it boasts an impressive end result, its natural feel makes it one of the easiest materials to recycle. What does this mean? Uncoated paper is a highly fibrous material that is lighter than coated paper varieties. Because of this, it’s widely accepted by many mills for recycling and is easy to transport.
As someone in need of professional print services, how can you ensure your print supplier is using the most eco-friendly practices? The first thing you can do is use our Sustainable Printing Checklist.
Determine if Your Print Supplier Is Eco-Friendly
The Sustainable Printing Checklist is the one-stop document you need to discover the best eco-friendly printing practices. You can use it when deciding which print supplier to work with, as it gives you the info on requirements a green printer should fit.
You’ll be able to look into printing methods, stock types and even the practices employed by the company on a day-to-day basis, such as their energy usage or recycling success. Get your copy of the checklist today using the button below.