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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Textiles & the Circular Economy

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Digital printing of textiles gets a lot of hype these days. Technology developers and service providers alike are searching for the next killer app for digital printing systems. The sustainability of these solutions is touted on the basis that they undermine and essentially subvert traditional printed textile production systems, which have a heavy environmental impact. But perhaps the more serious impact happens after production, when textiles are thrown away either for recycling via charity shops or just as waste. In the European Union (EU) alone 4.3 million tonnes of textile waste gets burnt up or landfilled every year. Even though hundreds of thousands of tonnes of new textiles come to market monthly, hardly any of it contributes to a circular economy.

PrintCYC for plastic films recycling

Laurel-2018.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Set up in 2019, PrintCYC is an initiative for recycling and processing printed plastic film waste. It has the support of Huber Group, a leading ink manufacturer and numerous other participants in the plastic film supply chain. The group’s goal is to provide cost-effective and useful new materials made from postindustrial waste. Huber Group and its partners describe PrintCYC (which rather oddly stands for Printed Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE) films for mechanical recycling) as “a value chain initiative for the recyling of printed films”. The group includes machine makers and other film specialists as well as Huber.

Ground breaking inkjet printing head

medium_laurel2015.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

A revolutionary inkjet printhead under development in the San Fernando Valley, USA is expected to completely upend the graphics industry. It will cut the cost on printed matter dramatically and create unprecedented new business opportunities. The new head, now in beta testing, creates printed matter that is substrate independent. The technology uses triple cavity wall speckles and a special radiating ink to created print that requires no carrier medium. It is expected to devastate the pulp and paper industry.

Certification the way forward

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Companies in the graphics industry are not particularly keen on certifications, generally citing cost and hassle as reasons not to bother. This is short sighted because certifications provide various assurances, not least for safety and process reliability and quality assurance. We are seeing a rising number of certifications in the business, particularly as packaging innovations grow. These are for digital printing systems using ISO 12647-2 (Process control for offset printing) as well as for materials and consumables such as inks.

New recyclable packaging materials

Laurel-2018.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

One of the biggest difficulties with solving the recycling and pollution problems the graphics industry faces, is where to start. Identifying what’s most important to solve now, what can wait and of course how to solve the problem, as the clock ticks on. Fortunately in our industry inventions are coming thing and fast. Not only are we seeing special interest associations forming, but makers of materials are designing their products to be easier to recycle.

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