How can we be sustainable when printing?
Your 10-step guide to sustainable printing Think e-documents over paper, Analyse and optimise the number of printers you need, Asset management, recycle and responsible disposal, Encourage sustainable habits, Redirect printing to the most cost effective device, Minimise power consumption, Reduce paper usage, Print on-demand
For centuries, printing has been one of the key ways to disseminate information. But in recent years, ink-on-paper printing has come under fire for its environmental impact. With the rise of digital media, sustainability has become a top priority for print companies. In this article, we’ll take a look at printing and sustainability, and how companies and individuals can do their part.
Let’s start with the basics. Printing typically requires the use of both plastic and paper resources. Plastic is used to produce the plates and inks which are necessary for printing, while paper is quite obviously the physical medium which is used. Both of these materials have a major impact on the planet, as plastic production and paper consumption both heavily contribute to environmental degradation.
However, the good news is that printing companies are starting to implement sustainability practices in order to reduce their environmental impact. The first step is to lessen the amount of plastic and paper used, and many companies have started to use more sustainable sources of these materials. For example, many paper products now use recycled paper, and some companies are even using more environmentally-friendly inks and printing processes.
Another important step that companies are taking to reduce their environmental impact is to reduce their energy consumption. Many companies now use energy-saving technologies such as LED lights, and they are also continually working to make their printing processes more efficient. This not only reduces their energy usage and carbon footprint, but it also helps to save money and resources in the long run.
On an individual level, there are a few steps that can also be taken to reduce the environmental impact of printing. One of the most obvious steps is to minimize printing whenever possible. By adopting digital media such as email, communication can be done more sustainably. Also, when printing is necessary, it’s important to use only what is necessary and avoid overprinting.
It’s also important to look for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logos when purchasing paper. These logos certify that the paper products have come from sustainable forests and have been produced in a responsible manner.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to recycle used paper whenever possible. This will reduce the demand for new paper and help preserve natural resources.
Overall, the key to creating a more sustainable printing industry is to reduce the amount of plastic and paper used, and to make sure that the materials used are sourced sustainably. Companies and individuals can both contribute to the cause by taking simple steps to minimize their printing and recycling as much as possible. With a little effort, we can all help to make printing more sustainable.