We have always been strong supporters of the printing industry and its sustainability. We have encouraged the use of print as a sustainable communications medium because it is mostly based on a renewable resource, paper. It is still highly sustainable as a medium, however it is increasingly clear that today’s communications business is all about data, rather than format.
We are told with increasing shrillness that something must be done about climate change. And it must, but too often we have dismissed the calls to arms simply because we can. We can hide behind the lazy idea that it’s not as bad as it seems, that someone, somewhere will deal with the problem, that it isn’t our responsibility. Recent events have put paid to that convenient complacency and the need to act becomes more urgent with each passing day.
Switching to processless plates ought to be a no brainer, since they are far kinder to the environment than conventional plates. The decision should be not whether to do it, but whose plates to go for. Agfa, Fujifilm and Kodak are the top developers and manufacturers of this technology so the investment decision isn’t too complicated. But Kodak has just made it easier with the introduction of a plate savings estimator for its Sonora process free plates
It’s been over ten years since we started the Verdigris project to raise environmental awareness within the worldwide graphics industry. In that time there have been sporadic flurries of interest in sustainability from printing companies, but rather more interest has come from their customers, the print buyers. But recently the flurries have started getting more frequent and urgent as climate change has jumped to the top of political and economic agendas, as well as social ones.
Recycling is getting more complicated. Rapid developments in substrate recipes, inks and imaging technologies, render established business models meaningless. Disruption in packaging is turning everyone away from petrochemical based plastics, and paper recycling is becoming immensely confused. Deinking and recycling methods m ust keep pace.