Printing Green

Brian Melzer, Print & Promotion Plus production manager hard at work providing consumers with eco-friendly printing solutions Photo by Chris Sloan

(COLTON, Calif.) It seems every decision to communicate in our world today impacts the environment. Regardless if you label it as “going green” or you use the term “eco-friendly”, the desired result is the same – doing what we can to keep our planet habitable for future generations.

Our society has blazed a trail into the digital age, accompanied by a high turnover in electronic gadgetry. As a result, it is increasingly important that environmentally smart choices are made by businesses in their daily operations.

One business dedicated to this effort is Printing & Promotion Plus. This Southern California family owned printing company, has made the commitment to printing green and using renewable resources.

As a commercial printer, committed to operating totally Eco-Friendly, Brian Melzer points out that Print Promotion Plus began its journey to be Eco-Friendly several years ago, by ensuring all inks and cleaners used were Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliant.

“We now only use environmentally smart products, such as ink, paper and all the fluids required in the printing process,” says Melzer.

“Paper is a primary raw material and is renewable,” says Terry Avery, a representative for International Paper Company, a global leader in the paper packaging industry. “Trees are replenished at a rate of 1.7 million newly planted trees everyday. That means for every tree harvested, two or three new trees are planted. In fact, today there are 12 million more acres of forest in the US than in 1987.”

Because paper is recycled, the solid waste sent to landfills has dropped dramatically. More paper containers are recycled than all the glass, plastic and aluminum combined.

“It is important educate customers as to what is best for them,” said Melzer. “We need to help them understand what it means to truly be eco-friendly.”

Melzer urges consumers to come see Printing & Promotion Plus, a printer that uses renewable resources and environmentally conscious. Melzer stresses that Printing & Promotion Plus is doing all they can to be eco-friendly. Their machines are Energy Star rated and uses Simitri Polymerized Toner, which achieves an approximately 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during production.

“We also use vegetable-based or soy inks instead of solvent-based inks, like petroleum which emits volatile organic compounds and contributes to air pollution,” adds Melzer.

The next step is that Print & Promotion Plus uses paper that has been Forestry Certified. “There are two standards to consider when becoming eco-friendly,” said Melzer. “One is to use recycled paper. The other is to use paper that carries a forest certification. For us, the choice came down to which has a better impact on the environment, we selected certification.”

Certification is a market-based, non-regulatory forest conservation tool designed to recognize and promote environmentally responsible forestry and sustainability of forest resources. The certification process involves an evaluation of management planning and forestry practices by a third-party according to an agreed upon set of standards. Certification standards address social and economic welfare as well as environmental protection.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) are two of the main standards operating in North America for larger ownerships. The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is the largest certification system for small private landowners. Green Tag, a program of the National Woodland Owners Association, also offers certification for small private landowners.

“All our products are either FSC or SFI certified,” said Avery. “By ensuring that our products receive certification in all forestry-related operations, we are embracing the highest standard of responsibility and traceability that a company can provide to its customers.”

Third-party certification organizations assess the management and the care of forests, as well as how they are complying with federal law and international agreements relating to the rights of indigenous peoples. They are concerned with enhancing the socio-economic well being of workers, neighboring communities and conserving the biological diversity, water, soil and eco-systems surrounding the forest.

They also require a management plan. Applicants for certification must describe the scale and intensity of logging and renewal operations, as well as the long-term objectives and monitoring of the forest, making sure that what is cut down is being replanted. If the management of the forest meets all the criteria, then the forest will receive certification.

Paper made from wood taken from certified trees is given the certification as well. Certified paper does not have anything to do with the paper being recycled, only that it was derived from trees from a well-managed forest.

Recycled paper is made from either 100 percent discarded (post-consumer) paper, or a mix of post-consumer and pre-consumer paper (paper that is discarded during the paper-making process, but never gets used by consumers), or a mix of post-consumer and either Forestry Certified or just regular, non-certified paper.

While also a very good option there is one drawback. When processing recycled paper, several solvents are used during the “deinking” process, when ink is removed from the fibers of recycled paper, some that are toxic.

“With so much waste being dumped in landfills, its more important than ever for people to continue to use the print industry for both economic as well as environmental reasons, to reduce landfill waste and air pollution,” concludes Melzer. “Printing & Promotion Plus is taking the necessary steps to be eco-friendly. We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our customers, to be cost effective and environmentally smart as well.”

For more information about eco-friendly printing, contact Printing & Promotion Plus at 1-888-788-0188 or visit them at www.PrintProPlus.net.

About Printing & Promotion Plus

Printing & Promotion Plus is family owned and operated business, serving Southern California since 1984. They are located in the Inland Empire and is dedicated to giving clients the highest quality with rapid turnaround, Printing & Promotion Plus helps clients succeed in the attainment of their goals. Printing & Promotion Plus offers printing services that include: B&W Copies, Brochures, Business Cards, Bulk Mailing, Catalogs, Color Copies, Digital Printing, Envelopes, Flyers, Graphic Design Letterhead, Newsletters, Postcards and much more.

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