Special Report: Sustainability & the Environment
The lack of make-ready waste for digital printing makes it an environmentally favorable option. Waterless printing is another alternative to the traditional offset that’s beginning to see an increase in availability.
Reduce Your Paper Needs
Once you’ve selected your paper, determine if you can reduce the amount of paper needed through trim size and basis weight.
First, find out from your printer how well the trim size of your catalog matches its press equipment. Are you at an efficient size that produces very little waste, or is significant excess paper being trimmed to produce your catalog?
Talk with your printer about what press options are available, and work together to get your job printed on a press that minimizes waste.
Next, see if you can reduce the basis weight for your catalog and cover. The lighter the basis weight of the paper, the less fiber used in production. As an added bonus, your postage costs will be lower, as well.
A Sticky Matter
Now that you’ve taken some steps to improve the environmental friendliness of your catalog, there’s one more thing to consider: What happens to your catalog afterward? Any cataloger’s goal should be to have it recycled, of course. But one of the difficulties with processing paper for recycling is the presence of adhesives. Adhesive materials complicate recycling because some adhesives can’t be fully removed. This sticky residue hampers the process and the reusability of the resulting paper pulp. The main culprits are pressure-sensitive adhesives found in address labels and postage stamps.
There are many more ways to reduce your environmental footprint. The more you know, the more you can identify other opportunities for change. To learn more about recycling, visit the Direct Marketing Association’s Web site and request a free copy of a publication called, “The DMA Environmental Resource for Direct Marketers.”