9 Tips For Eco-Friendly Packaging Printing

Would you like to have printed matter printed in an environmentally friendly way – and even save costs? If you know a few other requirements besides recycled paper and harmless inks, both goals can be achieved in an environmentally and resource-friendly manner.  

On the other hand, CO2 climate taxes for climate protection projects are more like a “sale of indulgences,” with which one can only calm one’s conscience. If you observe the following tips, you can act in an environmentally conscious manner and at the same time use economic advantages: 

Tip 1: Use recycled paper that is as environmentally relevant as possible 

The production of recycled paper uses less energy and water. Environmental papers with the “Blue Angel” label are made from 100 percent recycled paper and contain no bleach. Papers with the FSC mark also contain fresh fibers (preferably from sustainable forestry). 

Tip 2: Pay attention to environmentally friendly, and mineral oil-free printing inks 

Harmful, mineral oil-containing colors are hardly used today. Avoid cobalt if possible and use paints made from vegetable oils or resins because their organic pigments are removed from the paper in the recycling process. 

Tip 3: Blind embossing and punching instead of print finishing with varnish 

Embossing and punching are environmentally friendly and offer a haptic experience at the same time. A water-soluble dispersion varnish is also possible.  

UV lacquers and film lamination, on the other hand, cannot be considered. Because they cannot be removed from the paper without leaving any residue. 

Tip 4: Save paper by using a smaller format for print products 

Instead of an oversize format and DIN A4, maybe a smaller format will also suffice? If it is allowed to get smaller, the arch should be used optimally in any case, at 17 x 24 cm. This means that relatively little space is lost for design and content – but the amount of paper is reduced. 

Tip 5: Paper weight down – volume (paper) up 

The lower the paperweight, the less energy and raw materials are used. Volume papers, which appear thicker and at the same time have a higher opacity, can be used as compensation. A 135 g / m² offset paper with 1.0 times the volume is similar to a 115 g / m² recycled paper with 1.3 times the volume. 

Tip 6: Reduce the print run by planning ahead 

Based on empirical values ​​or more precise calculations, the circulation should be as close as possible to actual needs. Do not choose the larger number of items, even if a higher edition is hardly more expensive. Because if a lot has to be thrown away, that’s ecologically and economically bad. 

Tip 7: Keep delivery routes as simple as possible 

CO2 emissions arise not only in production but also in the delivery of printed matter. Unnecessary delivery routes occur when the print shop is located far away from the points of demand. 

Tip 8: Use digital printing for smaller print runs 

With digital printing, neither printing plates nor waste paper is required (when the printing machines are started). This printing process is an ecologically sensible alternative to offset printing for small print runs and is usually also cheaper.  

Tip 9: Choose printers certified with the “Blue Angel” environmental label 

If possible, hire print shops that implement the guidelines for environmentally friendly printing. The “Blue Angel” environmental label is awarded to those printing companies that meet the high criteria, such as fully meets a tailored and regularly certified ecological management. 

Claire Lee