Media & Substrates

Ecological Business in 2021  Sustainability in the Printing Industry The demand for sustainability has been amplified around the world and it is something in which the digital printing industry has been very involved in order to reduce its footprint. Photo courtesy

Ecological Business in 2021 Sustainability in the Printing Industry


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During the past decades, the demand for sustainability has been amplified around the world and it is something in which the digital printing industry has been very involved in order to reduce its footprint.

From 1965 to 2019, carbon dioxide levels increased from 320 parts per million (ppm) to 408 ppm, making the earth warmer every decade.

As result of the pandemic lockdown, the decrease in oil demand was reflected in its prices, which fell to levels never seen before. This makes us see that we can make changes towards sustainability. Industrial companies are now scrambling to deploy more renewable energy sources for industrial applications.

While the world was in lockdown during the start of the pandemic, energy consumption was down roughly 25%, and global CO2 emissions down 8%. But as life gradually returns to normal, companies in general have realized their responsibility in the transition to a much more sustainable form of business.

Sustainable printing methods are becoming more and more popular as individuals and businesses work to reduce their environmental footprint. There are an increasing number of environmentally friendly printers that are more eco-friendly, with energy saving features and also incredibility efficient. Advances in technology allow suppliers to produce sustainable printed material with no effect on quality or in price.

Environmentally friendly innovations

LED UV Printing

UV-LED printing is one of the best ‘green’ printing innovations, which has been on the market for a few years now. It uses less power than traditional print-drying technology and the instant on/off functionality reduces standby consumption between jobs and reduces overall CO2 emissions and the instant drying process means there’s no need for an anti-set off powder spray or a sealing coat.

Ecocracy recyclable banner

This recyclable fabric for banners and signage was developed by combining Toppan’s processing technologies with Dow’s plastics expertise.

This material enables banners and signage printed on this substrate to be re-pelletized as a recycled resin, which can then be blended with timber from wood waste to produce wood-plastic composite materials for such items as benches, floors, and plant pots.


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Toppan Printing has developed an eco-friendly manufacturing method for offset printing that combines oil-based biomass ink with water-based varnish.

ECOLUSTER use of plant-derived material and the absence of UV lamps make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions associated with raw ink materials and the printing process by roughly 34% compared with general UV offset printing.


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Paper tube-pouch

Toppan Printing developed a new paper-based version of the existing tube-pouch, which is shaped like a tube and easy to squeeze like a pouch. The paper tube-pouch is ideal for use in the food, toiletry, and pharmaceutical sectors.

Due to the use of thinner film material, the conventional tube-pouch is easier to squeeze and uses 30% less plastic than the type of laminated tube widely used for toothpaste. The new paper tube-pouch maintains the tube-pouch’s functionality while demonstrating better environmental performance by employing a paper-based material for the body, making possible a 50% reduction in plastic volume. Coupled with a redesign of the plastic parts of the head section, this enables plastic to be reduced by a total of 65%.


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Plastic Recycling Scheme for Multilayer Packaging

Toyo Ink and ITOCHU entered into a cooperative agreement to develop an innovative plastic recovery technology for multilayered flexible packaging, where a deinking coating agent and a delaminating adhesive are applied to the plastic film surrounding the ink layers. After use, the packaging waste is subjected to an alkaline treatment in which the coating agent, adhesive and interlaying ink layers are cleanly released from the film substrate. This results in the recovery of high-quality plastic material that can then be reused to create products of new value, making currently unrecyclable multilayer plastic packaging into a recyclable material.


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Biodegradable Polyurethane Adhesive

Toyochem has developed a new series of biodegradable pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs), marketed under the Cyabines eries of polyurethane PSAs, suitable for materials for the packaging, construction, agriculture, etc.

By using plant-derived raw materials, the Cyabine adhesive achieves a biomass content on a dry weight basis of up to 45%. This means the product can reduce CO2 emissions throughout the lifecycle of the newly developed product, without compromising on adhesive performance.

The new PSA system demonstrates biodegradation rates of 60% or higher after 60 days. When combined with other biodegradable materials used in a wide range of products, it helps to improve the overall biodegradability of these products.


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