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How Printing Practices are Becoming Sustainable

Posted 15th December 2015

How Printing Practices are Becoming Sustainable

The printing industry has long been working to decrease its impact on the environment. With every single business in the sector relying heavily on paper for its livelihood, it’s in every printer’s interests to introduce greener systems and improve its sustainability.

As well as being one of our main business goals, sustainability is something that’s very close to our customers’ hearts. Recent research has shown 82% of consumers want to buy and use products that are environmentally friendly, giving everyone in the printing industry a big incentive to go green.

Sustainable materials

Using recycled materials and paper from sustainable sources is an effective way of reducing waste and ensuring that our business isn’t contributing to global deforestation.

Like many printing businesses in the UK, Swallowtail Print works to ensure that the products we create are printed on materials sourced from managed forests.

More information on FSC approved materials

Biodegradable materials

As well as using materials that are made from environmentally friendly sources, printers can become more sustainable by ensuring that the products they produce are kind on the environment.

Printers can use inks, finishes and papers that will break down easily and that won’t release harmful chemicals into the environment. This will help to ensure that the products they produce won’t do any unnecessary damage once they’ve left the studio.  


If printing companies all try to minimise the amount of packaging that they produce, the industry as a whole will find its carbon footprint greatly reduced.

As well as purchasing materials from suppliers that use minimal packaging, printers can also reduce the amount of padding, boxing and wrapping that they place on orders before dispatching them.

Paperweight and sizing

Though thick, heavy paper feels luxurious and tactile, by using lighter weights printers can dramatically reduce the amount of paper that they consumer.

Reducing the size of booklets, brochures, posters and other printed products will also help to save paper and decrease consumption.

Energy efficient equipment

As well as using greener materials, companies within the industry can also help the environment by updating their equipment and using machines that consume minimal electricity.

Other standard practices like swapping old light bulbs for environmentally friendly versions, switching computers off instead of leaving them on standby all help printers to become more sustainable and have less impact on the environment.

More information about our environmental policy and our working practices