As the sixth largest producer of printing products in the world, the UK is in a prime position to enhance sustainability in the industry, and positive progress has already been made towards achieving Net Zero.
UK commercial printing now uses predominantly sustainable materials, with 90 per cent of paper sourced from European forests which are increasing at a staggering rate equivalent to 1,500 football pitches every day.
Flexographic, or flexo, printing is also playing a crucial role in reducing damage to the environment. As a cost-effective and efficient form of sustainable printing, flexo offers important advantages that can help your business to showcase its commitment to environmentally friendly practices.
A more efficient use of ink
A significant advantage of flexographic printing is its efficient use of ink. As a sustainable printing method, flexo uses only a thin layer, resulting in minimal waste compared to traditional printing methods. Consequently, less ink is consumed so less waste is deposited in landfill where any residual liquid can seep into the soil, damaging local ecosystems.
Environmentally friendly water-based inks
Flexographic printing can utilise water-based inks which are a more environmentally friendly alternative to solvent-based products. Water-based inks release fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, reducing air pollution and promoting better indoor air quality for your employees. Additionally, water-based inks are easier to dispose of, further contributing to a cleaner environment.
UV inks shorten drying times
In addition to water-based inks, ultraviolet (UV & LED UV) inks are another sustainable option for flexographic printing. These inks are cured instantly using ultraviolet light, eliminating the need for extended drying times. As well as improving productivity, UV inks reduce downtime and ink wastage. UV curing systems are more energy-efficient than traditional drying methods, thus lowering your electricity consumption and carbon emissions.
Reduced energy consumption
Flexographic printing has embraced advanced technologies, such as LED UV curing systems, which require significantly less energy compared to Traditional UV, hot air or infrared drying. Lower energy consumption not only reduces your operational costs but also decreases your company's environmental footprint and reliance on electricity generated by harmful fossil fuels.
By combining the latest inks and drying system technologies into your flexographic print production, you will gain more precise control over ink deposition and colour management. Enhanced control reduces waste by cutting down on errors and misprints. Consequently, you'll save on materials and resources as fewer reprints will be needed, so your printing lines will operate in a more cost-effective and sustainable way.
Download our free guide to find out more about sustainable printing
For more information on how our flexographic printing presses can enhance efficiency and save money, please download our free Guide to Flexo Printing or call Focus Label on 0115 824 5426 to speak to our team.