The Verdigris Blog by Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Miraclon, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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Steps towards a circular economy

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

The idea of using watermarking as an aid to waste sorting has been around for a while. At the moment it’s mostly relevant for packaging, but it could also matter for commercial print. As digitally printed volumes grow and recycling technologies advance, a digital watermark could make a big difference to waste handling. It could for instance help direct digital prints to the correct deinking streams.

The sustainability bug’s spreading

Laurel-2018.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

We recently came across the Reifenhäuser group as part of a project looking into recyclable packaging materials and developments. Reifenhäuser was founded in 1911 and has for most of its life specialised in plastic extrusion products. Such things as weatherstripping and fencing, window frames, plastic films and sheeting are produced by melting plastic and shaping it into a particular product. Plastic films and sheeting produced in this way are used in packaging to provide food safe barriers and mechanical stability.

Packaging and commercial printing dilemmas

medium_laurel2015.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Packaging is probably the only part of the printing industry immune to the internet. We will always need to protect physical goods from damage, whether its new shoes or potatoes. And as the world slowly grows its middle classes all over the globe, people are buying more stuff so more stuff needs to be packaged. They are also unfortunately developing a consumer habit so the more things they are presented with to purchase, the more goods they buy and the more packaging is needed.

Bobst making the connection

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Bobst, an impressive Swiss company founded in the nineteenth century, is one of the world’s top suppliers of finishing systems for labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and folding carton industries. It has production facilities in eleven countries across the globe and has been making gradual steps into digital systems for a few years. Increased investment into digital technologies is boosting the company’s capacity to provide digital support and options for its customers, including more environmentally friendly products.

The circular economy could be the next greenwash

Laurel-2018.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Or may be not. The circular economy is a huge concept so it is understandably attractive to marketers who don’t really expect target audiences to do more than be impressed by the phrase. But if companies are at least aware of circular economies that has to be a good thing. Just to remind you, a circular economy is one where the waste from a process becomes the raw material for another related process. That is an admittedly simplistic definition, but hopefully it is enough for you to get the idea. If you want a more grown-up definition, The Ellen MacArthure Foundation calls a circular economy a “systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste and pollution”.

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