It’s quite amazing to see the amounts of litter dropped by people who claim to care about the environment. Packaging waste accounts for most of it and that might be one of the reasons why print gets singled out as being environmentally hostile. Printing companies know that this is unfair but still too few of them have bothered to get their own houses in order when it comes to sustainability messaging. Now, when much of the industry is in slow mode, is the time to fix that. In addition to the message that it’s not the print it’s the polluting people, here are a few ideas to get you started.
A small cohort of people in the paper business and elsewhere have taken to disparaging recycling. They claim that it is more efficient in terms of environmental impact to incinerate paper waste instead. This is an interesting perception, given the fact that paper can be recycled up to seven times into new papers and board.
For most print companies keen to improve their environmental impact, ideas start with the premises and kit. But we should all be thinking more about transportation’s impact, especially if the delivery fleet is large. Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common and the number of manufacturers is growing. A recent addition to the clan is Volta Trucks a Swedish start up that has developed the world’s first electric 16 tonne delivery truck.
Support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) is rising amongst brands responsible for high packaging volumes. In partnership with Pilot Lite Ventures, Diageo, one of the world’s largest booze brand owners, is developing a plastic-free bottle. The two companies have set up Pulpex to develop and supply the new paper-based bottles to Diageo owned brands as well as other large corporates including Unilever and Pepsico. The bottles will be trialed in the spring of 2021 with Diageo’s Johnnie Walker whisky expected to be the first Diageo drink to be sold in a paper bottle.
We are seeing more and more companies starting to include sustainability as part of their investment decisions. This might be because their customers are asking the question, or because business owners recognise that sustainability in the graphics industry is everyone’s problem.