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5 Eco-friendly Ways UPrinting is Changing Online Printing
  by:  |  Apr 21, 2021

Global warming, deforestation, and excess usage of water and energy have made us more conscious of how business is done. Many businesses, including retail and e-commerce companies, are opting for sustainable alternatives such as paperless or plant-based packaging. Apart from the principle of reducing our waste and carbon footprint, sustainable packaging is a cause of concern among more than half of US consumers, according to McKinsey. Lessening one’s use of paper will reduce the landfill and waste problems from extra trash. Using less paper also means saving the little that is left of our forests. From 2001 to 2019, 386 million hectares were lost or a 10% reduction in the total tree cover. It’s integral for small, medium, and big business owners to see how they can lower their trash and use of paper for necessary transactions or productions.

UPrinting finds ways to reduce its environmental impact with its recycling processes and material sources. We’ve found ways to deliver the best possible products that will also help other businesses contribute to more sustainable and ethical practices.

1. We Recycle All Our Paper scraps.

We recycle all unused paper scraps, printing plates and ink waste.  No exception. If it was part of the production process and doesn’t get sent out to a customer, it’s getting recycled. Trust us – not all printing companies bother to do this. Fewer still are equipped to reuse or recycle printing plates and potentially toxic ink.

2. We Offer Stocks With Post-Consumer Recycled Content – the Rest is from Sustainable Sources

Our recycled stocks contain high levels of post-consumer content, reducing energy and water usage, and reducing the need to cut down and process more trees. The remaining content is purchased through certified sources.
 
We’ve lost sales because we didn’t supply particular non-certified stocks. And it’s fine by us. It’s less of a problem now that technology has made similar stocks from much more eco-friendly sources and processes available.

3. We Use Low-VOC Inks

We use soy and vegetable-based inks which have lower levels of volatile organic compounds than traditional petroleum inks. This reduces harmful carbon emissions while creating a safer work environment for our staff.  High levels of VOCs have been found harmful to both humans and the environment.

4. We Only Apply Non-Toxic Water-based AQ Coating

Glossy paper and card stocks are normally given a coating to give them a specific texture and allow them to be repeatedly handled without compromising the print. Unfortunately, most printers still use toxic finishes that take a very long time to decompose. This obviously has really bad consequences for the environment – not only do traditionally coated prints take up landfill space for extended periods of time, they often leach harmful chemicals into the soil.

UPrinting uses paper and card stocks with non-toxic water-based aqueous (AQ) coating to improve biodegradability when exposed to the elements. These AQ coatings come in both gloss and matte finishes, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of textured prints, without the downsides presented by traditional coatings.

5. We Invest In People Who Can Maximize Every. Printed. Sheet.

Much of UPrinting’s raw technical expertise goes into optimizing the gang printing process, and it shows in all the reviews we’ve had so far!

First, an explanation of what a print gang is. It’s a sheet of paper or card stock with multiple projects on it, ready to be cut and processed into different products. If you order business cards from a printing company that uses a print gang system, it’s entirely possible that they’re cut from the same sheets of card stock used for someone else’s brochures or menus.

To illustrate it a bit further, imagine playing Tetris (well sort of), with each different piece representing one project. As soon as the sheet is filled out, we start printing and additional processing.

A gang system minimizes paper waste, and we pass the savings on to you. However, it requires much more attention to detail- just sorting all the hundreds of projects that come in is a feat in itself. It’s also a manually intensive process that requires human pre-press experts to inspect and continually correct for deviations in color, as different projects using different color palettes may adversely affect each other.

Nailing this process correctly takes years of experience and is more of an art than a science. Other printers may skip gang printing altogether because of the expertise required or because they do not have a large enough order volume. Other printers may do gang printing, but lack the expertise to adjust for the colors or optimize the projects as well as we do.

If your current printer only offers automated proofing and does gang printing as well, watch out. They’ll be saving some money on labor costs, but chances are they won’t account for any deviations in color in the finished product and they’d be wasting massive amounts of paper and energy as well.

An Eco-friendly Printing Company? Yeah Right!

Those are just some of the ways we try to lessen our impact on the environment, and we admit acheiving sustainability while pursuing profitability in this industry is a challenge. But it’s one we’re fully committed to. Even now, we still try to find ways to deliver the best possible quality and value while minimizing our demand on the planet’s resources. We’ve also included several sustainable packaging alternatives such as oxo biodegradable plastic bags and partially recyclable materials that make up our custom boxes. Keeping the earth’s future in mind is beneficial not just to our company, but also for everyone’s future. It’s an investment we’re willing to make and will continue in finding new ways to do so.