Printing and Imaging

Answering the riddle of environmentally friendly media

By Gretchen A. Peck

Though printing celebrates significant progress in its efforts to be more environmentally considerate, large format still has a long way to go—starting with how the industry at large deals with media. Part of the reason why large format graphics may be lagging behind is confusion.

Casually tossed-about terms like sustainable, “green,” and environmentally responsible are relative to one another. Is media green if it isn’t comprised of some percentage of recycled material? Is it green only if it can be inserted into standard recycling streams? Can substrates be green if they have to be finished with the introduction of a chemical-based solution? Is it green if it can be used and reused with ease, without loss of integrity, such as textile-based print?

Print service providers (PSPs) are tasked with juggling these questions and supplying answers to their customers. In return, they look to media vendors to provide sustainable products. Here, we profile PSPs who are helping solve the sustainable media riddle.

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Publishing by Digital Output magazine, May 2014

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