A small cohort of people in the paper business and elsewhere have taken to disparaging recycling. They claim that it is more efficient in terms of environmental impact to incinerate paper waste instead. This is an interesting perception, given the fact that paper can be recycled up to seven times into new papers and board.
For most print companies keen to improve their environmental impact, ideas start with the premises and kit. But we should all be thinking more about transportation’s impact, especially if the delivery fleet is large. Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common and the number of manufacturers is growing. A recent addition to the clan is Volta Trucks a Swedish start up that has developed the world’s first electric 16 tonne delivery truck.
Support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) is rising amongst brands responsible for high packaging volumes. In partnership with Pilot Lite Ventures, Diageo, one of the world’s largest booze brand owners, is developing a plastic-free bottle. The two companies have set up Pulpex to develop and supply the new paper-based bottles to Diageo owned brands as well as other large corporates including Unilever and Pepsico. The bottles will be trialed in the spring of 2021 with Diageo’s Johnnie Walker whisky expected to be the first Diageo drink to be sold in a paper bottle.
We are seeing more and more companies starting to include sustainability as part of their investment decisions. This might be because their customers are asking the question, or because business owners recognise that sustainability in the graphics industry is everyone’s problem.
Sadly we are seeing terrible effects of the Corornavirus crisis on the graphics industry, and clearly we can never expect a return to business as usual. Not a day passes without business failures, collapses, administration proceedings, closures, and the problem seems particularly acute for small businesses. These are the types of companies, often employing less than a dozen people, that make up the bulk of the worldwide graphics industry. Without these small to medium sized businesses, the traditional printing industry will look very different.