Posted at 

June 8, 2021




Are you sceptical about how printing can be eco-friendly?

We were sceptical too. Because the printing industry is responsible for:

  • Ink cartridges that can take up to 1,000 years to decompose
  • The consumption of 75gm of oil per ink jet cartridge produced 
  • The felling of 10 billion cubic feet of trees each year for paper production 

And that’s just the tip of the printing iceberg. 

So what are the drawbacks of eco-friendly printing?

Eco-friendly printing isn’t perfect (yet!), but it’s a huge improvement on traditional printing. Here’s how:


Traditionally, printing inks are made with oil. Eco-friendly inks, like the kind we use for large print runs on our lithography press, are made from vegetable or soy extracts. They can take a little longer to dry than petroleum-based inks, but they emit less than 20% of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted by petroleum-based inks. VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects.

What’s even more impressive about these low-VOC emitting alternatives, is that they work brilliantly on recycled materials, producing a clear, bright print without a need for virgin paper. 

(All of our ink cartridges, toners etc are all recycled after use rather than being sent to landfill)


The felling of trees is responsible for one fifth of the world’s emissions, though recycling paper causes emissions too, which is why we offer sustainable tree free papers such as bamboo & sugar cane. We’ve written about the negative effects of recycling paper before. It’s not perfect, but on balance we think you’ll agree that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, and we hope you’ll be reassured that, as members of Forest Carbon, all of the paper we purchase is zero carbon rated.


We’re members of Printers Against Plastic, and join them in their mission to reduce the dependency of single use plastic in printing by raising awareness, igniting thought to inspire change and the sharing of information on viable alternatives.

What does this mean day to day? We reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible. This includes manufacturing elements such as containers and cartridges, and extends to our product range. Even our eco-friendly notebooks have the option of clear, plastic free covers that provide the same added protection as laminating.

Manufacturing Processes

There are some things we can’t avoid, such as the energy used in printing and unavoidable chemicals found in some eco-friendly products. Until printing becomes a truly zero-impact activity, we’re dedicated to planting trees through our charity work. This helps offset our impact on the environment, so not only do our customers know their products are printed using the best eco-friendly technology currently available, they can also be assured that we’re doing our bit for future generations. 

It’s good to be sceptical about eco-friendly printing!

There is still plenty of room for improvement and we’re committed to constantly reviewing our range of environmentally friendly printed products. While we would admit that even eco-friendly printing has some negative aspects, we hope you’ll agree that it offers huge benefits to the environment when compared to traditional printing methods. 

We recognise that the small changes each of us make, such as switching our businesses to biodegradable labels or spreading joy with eco-friendly greetings cards, can have a positive impact on the environment and we’ll continue to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible. 

Are you still sceptical about eco-friendly printing?



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