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Using Recycled Paper And Sustainable Printing Is Key To The Environment

29th January 2014

For every pro there is a con, this is something we can’t avoid. But, when we’re talking about the benefits of using recycled paper sources, we have several reasons to pay more attention to the pros instead of the cons.

Let’s get right down to it. Using recycled paper is much less harmful to our environment when speaking in terms of its production process. The production of one ton of recycled fibers, on average, can save up to 17 trees, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 360 gallons of water, 100 gallons of fuel used for heating the pulp, 60 pounds less air pollution, and over 10,000 kilowatts of electricity.

These savings are enormous. As nearly 30% of the waste in any landfill is paper based, we end up injecting far less pollution directly into the environment. Recycled fibers can be reused an average of four times before they become too weak to re-pulp and create quality paper. Sometimes it’s common for paper producing companies to use a mixture of recycled paper pulp and virgin pulp (new pulp) to extend the life of the recycled sources and ensure a quality, finished product.

In other cases paper that decays to an undesirable level of quality is also used in lower quality paper products, such as note pads. All in all, with the amount of used paper available for recycling, there’s no reason why any source of paper should be overlooked when considering a recycling process. So don’t throw that paper away, recycle it!

Sustainability is now known to be the most important part of any product or production process. At Kestrel Printing Limited, when we are producing all of our printed matter, from NCR pads, business cards and letterheads to booklets, brochures, leaflets and folders we are very conscious of the impact on the environment.

Within the printing industry, sustainable printing is one of the most important of these processes. Print production used to be historically done by using a powerful heating source to bake the ink into the paper. The high levels of heat needed for its production make it quite inefficient and increase the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment.

Most printing ink used today is a mixture of either three compounds: petroleum-based, vegetable-based, and soy-based inks. Current regulations state that petroleum based inks must stay below 30 percent release of VOCs, which is the reason for mixing petroleum-based inks with that of vegetable and Soy. Though using 100 percent vegetable or soy-based ink would be much more environmentally friendly.

Efforts to create competitive vegetable-based ink sources, which carry no VOC release and have low drying times, are always being tested. If these ventures are successful, the future of the printing press will take a leap into a greener future.

At Kestrel Printing Limited we always use vegetable based inks. We
source all of our paper from sustainable sources and are proud to hold the ISO 14001 environment accreditation and also the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditation.