More recycled paper is produced by weight each year than recycled glass, plastic, steel and aluminum combined.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he print industry has become a major source of innovation in the areas of green technology, sustainability, and pro-environmental practices. From supporting local farmers to using certified recyclable products, printers are taking steps to ensure that your print marketing projects are more eco-friendly.
Green Printing Supports Farming
Out of the millions of trees used to create paper every year, only 11% are forested trees. Nearly two-thirds of wood harvested for paper comes from family-owned farms measuring less than 50 acres. These small farmers, mostly in rural areas, depend on the paper industry for their livelihood.
For every tree harvested in this process, three more are planted by the print and paper industries. This practice has increased the size and number of forests in America. Paper from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program (SFI)—a forestry program that promotes corporate environmental responsibility—has become a standard in the print industry. To learn if your print shop uses SFI products, look for printers in Little Rock that use SFI approved products.
Environmentally-friendly inks are another industry standard that have been set in place over the last decade. By using compounds derived from vegetables and fruits, the print industry has managed to shrink its negative effects on the environment while supporting farmers nationwide.
Green Printing Supports Green Energy
When it comes to energy resources, electronic media wastes more power than print media. The average person uses 440 pounds of paper each year—taking 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to produce. In comparison, one computer uses the same amount of electricity in just five months.
That means it is 2.4 times more electronically expensive to read materials on the computer than to read them on paper. Large corporations can use easily 100 times the kWh of that one computer. For instance, the Internet security company McAfee reported that it wastes 33 billion kWh on email spam—that produces the same amount of greenhouse emissions as 3.1 million cars burning 2 billion gallons of gas.
60% of the power used to produce paper in the U.S. is generated by renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power. Paper plants use leftover biofuels to generate bioenergy, which diverts landfill waste, decreases paper’s carbon footprint, and reduces fossil fuel dependency.
Green Printing Drives Recycling
By 2020, The American Forest and Paper Association’s (AFPA) goal is to have 70% of paper produced from recycled products. 65.4% of paper consumed in 2014 was recycled—nearly double the amount in 1990—with each percentage point equaling one million tons of paper.
Using recycled fibers in place of virgin fibers produces less air pollution, requires less water and fewer chemicals to process it, and avoids the release of methane gas by keeping these fibers out of landfills. Approximately 76% of U.S. papermakers use recycled materials to produce packaging, tissue, office paper, and newspapers.
Green Printing Supports Printers
Printers can further sustainable printing practices by receiving online print orders, distributing electronic proofs, offering lower-emission shipping solutions, and using recycled paper for print jobs. Print-on-demand production reduces overruns, material waste, and warehousing.
Most printers also recycle their own materials, including printing plates, ink canisters, and cardboard cores, creating a sustainable cycle that grows as it feed itself. Make your Marketing a sustainable endeavor and look for printers who are dedicated to green printing practices.
Arkansas Graphics, Inc. is dedicated to a sustainable printing process. Last year, AGI recycled 172.08 tons of paper – that is 2925.36 trees!
For more information on green printing solutions in Arkansas, contact Arkansas Graphics at 501-263-2649. Our print-on-demand production model allows us to offer sustainable print marketing options for your projects.