We specialize in green and sustainable printing. Here is how we do it:
Anyone can use recycled paper but many do not. And of those that do, many do not know that of the recycled fibers in a sheet of paper, NONE has to be PCW (post-consumer waste), which means that paper isn't being kept out of our landfills. We use stocks frequently that are at least 50% recycled and/or 25% PCW recycled content. We prefer to use recycled papers with a maximum %PCW whenever possible. Shouldn't we all?!
We also prefer to use paper that is manufactured using electricity generated by wind-power. An earth-friendly choice, paper made this way is becoming readily available and we use it whenever our customers give us the "green light". A lower carbon footprint equals more peace of mind for our clients!
Inks are similar to recycled papers in that if a minimum of 20% petroleum oil is replaced with soy oils and ink can be called “soy-based”. We are in the process of switching over all our inks to those that have up to 12% vegetable-based oils and a total of up to 56% bio-derived, raw material content. Sounds like a "win-win" to us.
We use the latest in digital technology. This greatly reduces the amount of waste paper AND ink which eases the burden on our environment.
Digital Full Color Heidelberg
Our Heidelberg QMDI press not only uses a fraction of the paper wasted in traditional offset printing, but it is also “waterless”. Traditional, offset presses use water in their systems to regulate ink flow. This water is mixed with potentially harmful chemicals for proper use on press. Since our press is waterless, we are avoiding the use and disposal of these unnecessary chemicals! Plus, it is just plain cool!
ALL of our waste paper, including from our offices, is returned to the Cascades paper mill for recycling. We have special containers located throughout our facility for this purpose. The paper returned to the mill becomes more paper which we then purchase for our customers! It's closed-loop recycling, of which we are very proud!
Most printers throw away significant amounts of ink that has gone bad or has become unusable. Pro Printers doesn't! We store waste ink in a collection barrel and pay a certified “recycler” of waste inks to reclaim it. They treat these inks so that they are harmless before they can be used as fuel or discarded.
Traditional printing plates still use processing chemicals that “weaken” periodically and must be discarded. We buy special collection units made for the purpose of neutralizing these chemicals, turning them into harmless salts. Many printers simply discard these chemicals. We view this extra cost as a "must” to preserve our environment.
Presses must be cleaned regularly. Strong chemicals can make the cleaning process go quickly and efficiently, but they are not environmentally-sound. We use a chemical that can be diluted with water so that it is safer for the workers and gentler on the environment. Volatile organic compounds are kept to an absolute minimum!
What Is Next?
We are always looking for ways to reduce waste, reuse components and recycle what we can to minimize our impact on the environment. This task is never ending and we will continually strive to leave our facility, neighborhood, community and beyond better than we found it!