5 eco-friendly printing practices to help you go green

By Chris Morell on Jun 27, 2024 2:55:59 PM

4 min read

Wish you could get the products you need while caring for the environment? With today’s eco-friendly printing methods, you can! In fact, ‘green’ or sustainable printing can easily help your brand stand out from the competition. It shows that you care for the natural world and helps you align with your customers’ values.

Thankfully, it’s never too late to get into eco-friendly printing – just ask your printing company about their approach towards sustainability. This article looks at some of the most responsible practices in the business.

What is eco-friendly printing?

Eco-friendly, green or sustainable printing is an effort to produce high-quality materials while reducing their impact on the environment. This can mean reducing energy consumption, using non-toxic materials, and printing items that can be fully recycled.

Going green usually means investing in new practices and technologies, and that’s not something everyone can do right away. Eco-friendly printing empowers you to do your part without the hassle.

At Raccoon, we can help you do just that. Just ask for sustainable options the next time you need large format prints or have an event, launch or branding project.

The top 5 sustainable printing practices

What is Eco-Friendly Printing - Recycle logo on sustainable paper

1. Sustainable print-on-demand

While some printing companies offer traditional print runs (with high volumes printed at once), others have sustainable print-on-demand options that produce the exact amount you need. This cuts the amount of energy, toner, and paper used. As a bonus, you won’t have to find a place for the excess stock – you simply print more as needed.

Why settle for outdated methods when on-demand printing, from an eco-friendly printing company, is more convenient and better for the environment?

2. Water, soy and vegetable-based inks

Some inks contain harmful solvents that leak out when sent to landfill sites, affecting the nearby soil and water quality. Sustainable printing, on the other hand, can mean using water, soy or vegetable-based inks. These have fewer volatile organic compounds or VOCs, so they’re much better for the environment than petroleum-based alternatives.

Whether you have a water, soy or vegetable-based ink will depend on the printing process and the material you’ve chosen. The next time you speak with your printing company, why not ask if they use sustainable inks to help reduce your project’s environmental impact?

Eco-Friendly Printing - Large format ink printing in action

3. Using green materials

The demand for green printing has led to a wider range of sustainable products, and that doesn’t just apply to recycled paper. Today, some eco-friendly printing companies supply non-PVC banners, backdrops, wall graphics and more as part of their ranges. This even extends to vinyl vehicle wraps!

So why are PVC-free materials such a big deal? Traditional PVC contains Polyvinyl Chloride, which is a toxic compound. Self-adhesive vinyl made from acrylic and polyurethane can be fully recycled and requires less energy to manufacture.

4. Replacing outdated printers

If you print a lot in-house, it may be worth investing in modern machinery. New printers typically use less energy than older models, and you could see savings on your monthly bills. You can usually find energy-efficient printers when shopping online, and some feature Energy Star certification. These use the least amount of energy to help minimise your carbon footprint.

Brands like HP and Xerox boast further environmental benefits, like commitments to clean manufacturing and minimal waste.

5. A 'recycle first' approach

Most prints eventually end up as waste, so you can easily reduce your carbon footprint by disposing of them properly, and recycling when possible.

If you’re serious about sustainable printing, make it easy for those around you to get on board. It can be as simple as having a recycle bin near your inkjet printer. You could also teach employees how to recycle empty ink cartridges, packaging, and waste card or paper.

You might even take things a step further and partner with a waste management firm. They can help you recycle or dispose of your waste responsibly.

Looking for an eco-friendly printing company?

5 Eco-Friendly Printing Methods - An image of a tree, sustainably printed

At Raccoon, we’re serious about sustainable printing. In fact, we offer eco-friendly options for everything we do, including non-PVC vehicle wraps, banners, display boards and more. We produce all of the ethical display products for the popular cosmetic brand, LUSH – and we can do the same for you too!

We’re also partnering with FESPA UK to ensure much of the waste that normally heads to landfills gets sent to recycling plants instead. It’s all part of our ‘can-do’ approach towards eco-friendly printing.

Visit the link below to learn more about what we do, and get in touch to discuss our sustainable products.

See Our Large Format Print Services


Chris Morell

Written by Chris Morell

Content Writer for Raccoon, Chris has been writing online content since 2010. Always excited for the next blog, he loves turning complex topics into helpful and digestible articles.