How Much of an Impact Does Printing Paper Have on the Environment?
While workplace printing may be necessary, positive eco-conscious changes can be made to minimise environmental impact. Adopting eco-friendly behaviour is important for sustainability in business.
At Printcom we work to eliminate wasteful habits,and practice a mindful approach. Many companies are improving their environmental footprint, and below are answers to questions clients commonly ask our team.
Is printing paper bad for the environment?
Paper production uses a number of resources. Australian paper is generally sourced from planted forests, meaning those created for wood-based products, rather than the harmful practice of deforestation.
While the wood itself is a renewable resource, waste water from the pulping process and the release of gases are significant polluting factors. So, while printer paper is inexpensive, the environmental cost is notable.
What to do?
The best idea is to monitor and reduce office paper consumption. Ask your team:
- Could these documents be shared electronically?
- Do we really need to print handouts for inhouse meetings?
- Are we properly proofing before printing, to avoid re-printing?
- Could I print this document double-sided?
- Is it necessary to use so many handwritten notes in the office?
Can printing paper be recycled?
Yes, the good news is ink from printed paper is removed during the recycling process. If using thermal paper, check first with the recycling collector to make sure your company’s stock is accepted.
Should I recycle my printer cartridges?
Old cartridges thrown in the rubbish pollute the environment with potentially toxic chemicals. The plastic casing is often non-biodegradable and can take centuries to break down. Suppliers are usually able to provide recycling details.
Is it worth repairing a printer?
From an environmental perspective, yes, but long-term reliability and budget are also relevant. Printcom’s experienced technicians can advise you on the pros and cons of repair versus replace, taking into account possible lifespan.
Our team provides onsite printer repairs and maintenance services for printers, scanners, and copiers. We professionally maintain Brother and Fuji Xerox printers for companies and institutions throughout Western Australia.
Do I just throw my printer away?
If replacing a commercial printer, consider a trade-in, or donate the old model to charity. When disposing of a printer, make sure to recycle as electronic waste rather than creating more landfill.
Brother is a member of EPSA, the Electronic Product Stewardship Australasia Program for e-waste recycling. To find out details about local recycling equipment locations and other eco-tips, visit Planet Ark Business Recycling.
How can I make my printing more environmentally friendly?
One way is to choose a commercial printer with Energy Star Approval. The International Energy Star Rating Program is a marker for energy efficiency. Otherwise, ask questions to secure a relatively eco-friendly printer model.
Watch out for warranty conditions
Every day “green” product innovations are introduced onto the market. Just take care to check the warranty conditions of your printer. Using a new ink or paper brand may risk voiding it.
Each step counts when going green
Taking the time to think before you print can make a difference. Research your next printer purchase and reach out to the Printcom team with any queries you have about business, green choices, and your company’s printing needs.