Blog

Spreading the sustainability message: part 4

by FESPA | 19/09/2018
Spreading the sustainability message: part 4

In the fourth part of a series of blogs, Laurel Brunner shares ideas for topics addressed in environmental policy statements.

Industry associations that serve the needs of illustrators, journalists, designers, authors, printer, publishers etc. are usually passive regarding the improvement of environmental impacts. In the previous blogs we have discussed the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, emissions controls, management and waste handling. In regard to materials usage – what should we consider when we produce a given print product and its recycling?

In the newspaper business this is a simple consideration since much of newsprint is made from recycled papers. Paper and board recycling should be a no-brainer for any industry association’s mission statement. Printing plates are another material that should be considered, examples include aluminium or flexo plates. Aluminium plates are a ready source of income for printing companies across the industry since the can be sold for recycling.

However, recycling the photopolymer that is used to make flexo plates used in newspaper printing, packaging and other applications is a little trickier. However, this does not mean that it is impossible. Some manufacturers like Flint Group and DuPont provide a recycling service but it is not free, and the waste is usually incinerated instead of being reprocessed into something useful. It is better to find ways of reusing the material such as chippings to cover horse arenas and playing fields or as a building material. It is important to find and work with organisations that can use the used flexo plates without reprocessing them back into their component materials or burning them. This is an additional opportunity for industry associations to make recommendations or create partnerships with companies who can build suitable recycling supply chains.

The English have a saying, “where there is muck there is brass” which means that waste (the muck) is a source of revenue (the brass). Printing plates are currently earning their users and manufacturers money via recycling. Innovation and entrepreneurialism can take ideas for reusing plate materials in other ways, to use then in other viable new businesses based on improving environmental impact and profit. Invention begins with little, tiny things so perhaps printing and publishing industry policy statements will help create small opportunities. Industry associations are preferably situated to kick start new ideas for reducing environmental impact via improved waste handling from paper to plates. However, it takes awareness of the problem before ways of solving it can be worked out.

Source: This article was produced by the Verdigris project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, Spindrift.click, EFI, FESPA, HP, Kodak, Kornit Digital, Ricoh, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.
 

by FESPA Back to News

Topics

Interested in joining our community?

Enquire today about joining your local FESPA Association or FESPA Direct

Enquire Today

Recent news

The Green Grads EPSON cco-cextile challenge graduates showcase their talents
Features

The Green Grads EPSON cco-cextile challenge graduates showcase their talents

Exhibiting at Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths during the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair the Epson Eco-Textile Challenge graduates received an enthusiastic welcome.

30-11-2023
Neil Felton on investing into the print community via FESPA Associations
Videos
7:50

Neil Felton on investing into the print community via FESPA Associations

FESPA's CEO, Neil Felton speaks to Debbie McKeegan about the important or reinvesting and supporting the print community. FESPA achieves this by investing into its 37 global Associations.

29-11-2023
Neil Felton on investing into the print community via FESPA Associations
Business development: screen printing or digital printing?
Features

Business development: screen printing or digital printing?

Screen printing and digital printing are 2 common printing processes in sign-making. But what are the differences between the 2, what are their advantages and disadvantages, and how can printers earn the most money using new technologies?

29-11-2023
Forgra Colour Management Symposium to offer guidance on how to improve efficiency and reduce waste
Blog

Forgra Colour Management Symposium to offer guidance on how to improve efficiency and reduce waste

Paul Sherfield speaks to Andy Kraushaar, Head of Pre-Press Technology at Fogra about the Fogra Colour Management Symposium coming up in February 2024 and why it’s an important event to help you improve efficiency and reduce waste.

28-11-2023