Environmental Options when it come to print.

You are conscious of the impact you have on our Environment and you are keen to make sure you make the right choices. We all do our bit in separating out our waste, making sure we put the right waste in the right colour bin, trying to use less water and even sticking a jumper on instead of turning the heating up!

When it comes to making the right decision when it comes to print, I often find it can leave you in a bit of a muddle with too many different options to choose from. Recycled or FSC? Do I need vegetable based inks? What is ISO 14001 and does it matter? How do I go Plastic Free?

Choosing your paper

Let’s start with the paper. Virgin fibre paper is made with no recycled content. You may think that this was the worst choice but now there are many ways you can use your normal stock and still have a positive impact on the environment.

The majority of modern stocks now come with FSC certification. In a nutshell, this means that the trees that were used to produce the paper came from a well-managed, sustainable source. The FSC chain of Custody provided a documented chain from the original source through to the end result. You will probable recognise the logo and will have seen this on a lot of products from brochures to dining room tables.

By Using an FSC approved paper and an FSC certified printer, such as Streamline, you will be able to use the logo on your print to highlight to your audience your commitment to the Environment. Each printer has their own licence number and will talk you through the process of adding the logo to make sure it follows the correct brand guidelines.

You may also want to consider you Carbon Balancing options. This is where the amount of carbon dioxide that is added to the atmosphere in the production of your brochure is calculated. By adding a small levy onto the price of your paper, usually around £10 per tonne, ecologically important standing forests under threat of clearance is purchased.

By protecting these forests, carbon is locked that would otherwise be released. These protected forests are then able to continue absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.

Referred to as REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), this is now recognised as one of the most cost-effective and swiftest ways to arrest the rise atmospheric CO2 and global warming effects.

This is facilitated by The World Land Trust who are an international conservation charity. You can find more information here  – http://www.carbonbalancedpaper.com/carbon/what-is-carbon-balanced-paper.html

Your support for these initiatives allows you to demonstrate your environmental commitments by displaying the World Land Trusts Carbon Neutral logo on your print.

Recycled paper

Recycled paper is described by the amount of recycled fibre used to make the sheet. This is typically 50%, 75% or 100% and is referred to as Post Consumer Waste.

Over recent years, the quality of recycled stock has improved significantly. The finish is much better and stocks are not obviously recycled.

There are a range of brands available although there has been a reduction in recent times as other options have become more popular.

Choosing your Printer

It is a printer’s responsibility to ensure that any environmental impact it creates is minimised. A printer should be using vegetable based inks rather than a traditional oil based ink, their waste should be separated into printed and white waste. This should then be collected and recycled by a registered contractor.

You should also consider if your printer is ISO 14001 registered, this is the internationally recognised management scheme that ensures that full and proper environmental practices are in place and adhered too. Printers will be audited every 6 months to make sure they adhere to the practices.

To be able to use the FSC logo, your printer will need to be certified. Similar to ISO 14001, your printer will undergo regular audits to ensure compliance.

Let us help

If you want to know what the best options for you are then why not let us help.

Streamline can guide you through the process, show you samples of different stocks, help you decide what plastic free finishes would work for your print and even help you come up with a technical strapline text to help you demonstrate your efforts and commitment to the environment on your print.