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Printing

Printing - TheGreenOffice.com

The environmental issues of the printing industry are essentially those of office printing, on a grand scale.  See the Greening Guide chapters on paper and ink.  Many printers continue to use paper that is not chlorine-free nor produced with recycled content, as well as traditional inks that may emit VOCs and be harmful to employees who work with it.

Buying Guide

Before purchasing printing services from a provider, make sure that the materials and practices they use are sustainable.  The Solid Waste Management Controlling Board has compiled the following list of recommended requirements for printers:

  • Vegetable-based and recycled (filtered) inks; avoid inks containing heavy metals.
  • Recycled-content (30% minimum content) and tree-free blend papers; PCF – process chlorine-free is the best environmental choice.
  • Alcohol-free printing processes.
  • Solvents free of toluene and methylene chloride.
  • Paper recycling and reuse programs.
  • Workplace safety and accident reduction programs.

Best Practices

Consider these environmentally responsible printing suggestions for your office:

  • Print materials that need frequent updating in smaller quantities to reduce over-printing.
  • Encourage clients and other relevant parties to obtain information from your company’s website rather than printed materials.
  • Choose printing service providers that practice sustainability.