Eco-friendly printing is a trend that is taking the printing world by storm. So what exactly is eco-friendly printing and what is making it this popular. The article explores this new revolution in printing techniques and the materials involved in it.
It is estimated that a typical office employee uses about 200 kgs of paper every year. This makes paper industry the third largest source of pollution – air, water and soil.
Further, paper is normally manufactured from trees which are another source of ecological destruction. So eco-friendly paper is one that is manufactured from recycled materials and uses less of the other natural resources.
Such eco-friendly paper is manufactured from bagasse (sugarcane fiber), seeds or recycled paper. As a result every ton of such paper saves 12 to 24 trees. The manufacturing process for this paper also uses fewer toxin chemicals, less energy and low emissions in addition to avoiding chlorine.
Conventional inks contain synthetic chemicals and petroleum products that emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) and other toxins into the environment.
However, eco-friendly inks are of different types based on what they are made from: vegetable oils, soy bean oil, water based solvents, corn and bio ink are some of them. Scientists are developing more eco-friendly inks that are 100% biodegradable and produced from renewable sources.
Printing is the process of using ink to get the written material onto the paper. This process utilizes a number of chemicals in order to get the ink onto the paper. These could range from toxic chemicals to polymer based non degradable sources. To counter this and make printing eco friendly we have waterless printing, digital printing and offset printing techniques that use very little chemicals and reduce the burden on environment by as much as 60%.
Once these eco-friendly printing materials are used and the eco-friendly products are developed the material has to be packaged to the client.
This requires packing that takes up cardboard, glue and what not. So, the final step in eco-friendly printing products is packaging where tree-free cardboards are used. Also, glueless and non-elastic rubber bands are used to put the packaging together.
Products thus manufactured are called eco-friendly printing products. As we have seen they reduce the burden on our exhaustible resources and encourage the efficient use of renewable natural resources.
We must all endeavor to create a demand for eco-friendly products to make them more affordable and in the process protect our environment.
Photo Credit By: barneys.com.au