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Environmental or eco print solutions are becoming increasingly important to modern business practice. With the advent of ISO 14001 certification, which provides practical tools for companies and organizations looking to manage their environmental responsibilities, the need for eco friendly printing solutions has never been greater.

Previously, large format exhibition printing was dominated by PVC materials and solvent inks. The one big drawback of printing on PVC material is that it is non-recyclable. Fortunately there has been significant advancement in the area of recyclable and biodegradable printing and mounting materials.

  • HDPE banner material - This is a banner material that can be fully recycled
  • Polyprop Paper - Great for recyclable posters and banner stands
  • BioDisplay - A 200 or 350 micron material that can biodegrade in five years
  • BioRigid - 3mm rigid board that feels like PVC but can degrade in five years
  • BioLaminate - A clear laminate film to protect your prints but can degrade in five years

The material found in the Bio range contains a microorganism that will activate in conditions similar to those found in a compost or landfill site and will, over time, degrade the substrate into dust. These are great products for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, but who still have the need for advertising and display systems.

Over the years, printing with solvent inks has become extremely popular. These inks are highly durable in terms of abrasion and colour fading, and as a result, they are the standard ink for many print companies. They can be used for both exterior and interior prints, but they have one significant disadvantage in that chemicals are used to bind colour to the substrate. These solvents take several weeks to "off gas", which is a process of evaporation of the active chemicals. Because these inks were designed for exterior graphics, this off gassing process usually went unnoticed. When using solvent inks for internal graphics, the chemical fumes became trapped indoors. These inks typically came with the caveat, "use in a well ventilated area." But if the print or display were to be used indoors, in a sub-optimally ventilated area, these noxious fumes could manifest in dull headaches for the exhibition attendees.

Latex ink on the other hand has all of the benefits of solvent ink durability but without the chemical off gassing process. Latex ink uses heat to melt a latex polymer onto the printing surface. The only waste product of this process is the water that evaporates at the time of printing. The end results are robust and durable prints that are perfect for both internal and external use. Depending on the conditions of use, one could expect between a 3-5 year lifespan using latex ink printing technology.