Most customers’ priorities for printing work are in this order: 1 – price, 2 – quality and then maybe 3 – the environment. It’s a shame; it means that price often feeds the use of old technology for printing. Cheaper solvent based print and some offset print methods use chemicals that are harmful to our environment. However, we understand that keeping costs low are a key motivator for many businesses.

Environmentally Friendlier Printing Practices

The good news is that the print industry has been embarking on a huge change. Digital print is the future; eliminating print waste called ‘make ready’s’ and eliminating the environmentally harmful plating and filming process. Digital print also has the added benefit of low costs for shorter print runs, reducing paper waste. We are increasingly finding customers ordering in smaller print runs. Business cards are often now purchased in lots of 100s or 250s as you can reprint more when you need them. This has been especially handy for Christchurch businesses who have needed to move around a lot following the earthquakes, and reprinting a few hundred business cards when your address changes is also less wasteful to our clients as well as the environment.

Printing several hundred thousand flyers and having them scattered into letterboxes has become less effective, especially as people have become accustomed and conditioned to ignore ‘adverting noise’ and junk mail. Companies are becoming more creative with their printed advertising, they’re being smart by personalising each piece of printed mail to ensure it’s relevant and specifically targeted to their customers needs – ultimately making the printed mail outs more effective.

Another great change in the print industry is the movement to latex printing. This replaces the solvent print alternative for large format print such as billboards, banners, etc. The latex print process has drastically reduced the solvents required to produce a printed product that’s suitable for outdoor use. Again digital latex print offers a cost reduction per print in small print runs as well as environmental savings.

While it’s a shame that price often comes before environmental impact when people are determining how they wish to print, it’s great that the new focus on printing digitally and in a targeted manner is organically having a positive affect on the environment.

Printable Solutions has a strong devotion to our environment and we feel that it’s important we share our knowledge in printing techniques so our customers understand the different options available. Find out more about our commitment to the environment, including videos about the old versus new printing process.


Christchurch: (03) 377 66 44
Newmarket, Auckland: (09) 520 1200
Ponsonby, Auckland: (09) 376 0059
Email: [email protected]
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