The main component of any printed job is – PAPER. For many years paper was considered to be an environmentally damaging product. Over the last decade, reputable paper mills and merchants have worked hard to transform the paper manufacturing industry into one that is now classified within the United Nations’ 100 most ‘sustainable’ industries.
The main catalyst for this substantial change was the introduction of the Forestry and Paper Accreditation Schemes. The impact of the schemes has been to ensure paper mills and forestry operators work to strict guidelines to minimize environmental impacts, source fibre from only FSC rated sources, improve manufacturing processes and commit to the sustainability of the industry in general.
There are many ways of marketing your product. When you choose print media advertising choose your carbon footprint. It is important to keep environmental concerns in mind in this day and age. It is a fact that 9 out of 10 customers want that businesses should operate in a responsible manner towards the environment. Boosting your green credentials is a part of your business now. Here are some tips to use flyers in a responsible way:
Use Sustainable Paper and Inks
This can make a difference to the environmental footprint. There are advantages when it comes to paper as well. Sustainable paper requires fewer resources than the deforesting that one sees for new paper production. The production of recycled paper ensures conservation of water, electricity, oil, landfill, etc.
It is also a myth that the quality of sustainable paper is inferior. These days due to betterment in manufacturing recycled paper is as good if not better than regular paper.
Vegetable Ink Comes in Handy
There are advantages using vegetable ink. They are made using corn, linseed and canola. It is a truth that these inks are friendlier toward the environment rather than petroleum –based stuff. The air quality is boosted as well with the use of vegetable ink.
Procure Paper Stocks from the Right Place
It will help you in your business if the paper stocks that you buy are from well-reputed sources. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) come as recommendations. You have the assurance of the paper being procured from recycled materials.
Using the right materials that are beneficial for the environment is a must for your flyers, brochures & catalogues. It can show you to be a responsible citizen and aid your company’s image & branding.
Use environmentally friendly inks
There are different types of printing inks available for offset printing. Inks are made up of various ingredients such as pigments (organic or inorganic) which create the colour, an oil base liquid that is mixed with the pigment and then dries, and a binding agent made of either organic resins or polymers. The two main types of ink used in offset printing are described below.
Petroleum based ink
This is currently the most commonly used ink. It is popular with printers because it dries fast, allowing materials to be printed, finished and out the door quickly. The problem with petroleum based ink is that the petrol and alcohol content evaporates in the drying process, releasing up to 30% VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds – see below) into the atmosphere. Solvents are also required to clean the press after use – and solvents are another source of VOCs. Petroleum based ink is also harder to de-ink when being recycled, which results in toxic waste.
Vegetable based ink
The environmentally friendly alternative is vegetable based ink. The base liquid for this ink is made from a variety of vegetable oils such as corn, walnut, coconut, linseed, canola and soy bean. Vegetable based ink takes longer to dry but, as a result, releases only around 2-4% VOCs into the atmosphere. Vegetable oils are a renewable resource, unlike petroleum. Solvents are not required for cleaning, as the press can be cleaned with a water based cleaner, reducing VOCs further. Vegetable based ink is also much easier to de-ink when recycling and results in much less hazardous waste.
Vegetable based inks are no more expensive than petroleum based inks. With time we predict petrol based ink will be a thing of the past. The sooner the better!
The major global accreditation systems include:
- ISO14001– international environmental management system
- FSC– Forest Stewardship Council – Promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s forest fsc.org
- Chain of Custody– covers all wood processes from the forest to the consumer
- PEFC– Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification – recognizes sustainable forestry management practices pefc.org
EMAS – Eco Management and Audit System – European Council regulation
At APA and Print4Less we always use