Written by Paula Smart

Despite US changes to the Paris Accord, choices that positively impact the environment are still appealing to many consumers. In the Print World, recycled materials are being requested more frequently and most offices participate in recycling efforts. Those products which highlight their “greenness” have the advantage of giving users a comfort level that they are making a difference. Fortunately, with new product developments, choosing sustainable products does not mean sacrificing quality or expense.

When planning presentation boards, model construction and short-term signage, consumers traditionally turned to a polystyrene foam clad with paper known as Foam Core, or if budgets allow, the impact resistant Gatorboard material. Now eco minded users are beginning to ask for Ecoboard, a new material offering a very print-friendly surface at comparable cost to foamboard. This rigid, lightweight, dimensionally stable graphics media board is fully recyclable with excellent print quality. Many printers also offer the 100% postconsumer content poster board material.

While some products may not recycle, the fact that they can be reused is also a factor when one is striving to be earth-friendly. The plastic Polystyrene material used for short-term exterior signage is unique because once printed and its use fulfilled, manufacturers will take returned printed pieces, remove the ink and repurpose this versatile product. By participating in this green practice, one can reduce the amount of raw material needed to address the needs of industry.

The Eco movement has also impacted the widespread trend of custom images on interior walls for corporate branding of business space. Instead of vinyl wallcoverings imaged with solvents, the sustainable option is produced from recycled water bottles. Composed of 31% post-consumer recycled material, this Green Wallcovering imaged with latex print has very low VOCs, no PVCs, chlorine, heavy metals or formaldehyde and qualifies toward LEED accreditation. Choices of finishes and quality of print have made this wallcovering option increasingly popular.

More than ever, consumers demand environmental consciousness from the companies they use. You ignore this at your peril; you embrace it to your profit.

Sources: Packaging Corporation of America, DreamScape, Ira Bowman

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