|Europoint Display/The PaperCo..
Europoint Display, a subsidiary of The Paper Company (PaperCo), has launched
a range of initiatives to encourage high street printers to print their customers signage, packaging and displays on more environmentally friendly substrates.
The company has developed a boxed swatch of alternative, greener
media, The EnviroBox, supported by the industry's first PC-based calculator
to assess the overall environmental impact of substrates, and complementary
environmental report. Europoint will use the materials to encourage debate
among retailers, designers and printers regarding which substrates are most
appropriate to help them lower their environmental impact. The initiative is
in response to rising demand from blue chip companies for greener materials.
The company will present its EnviroBox to designers, corporate print buyers
and printers to foster debate throughout the procurement and production chain.
EachEnviroBox contains a raft of products for banners, self-adhesives for
windows, rigid sheets and films that are viable replacements for PVC-based products
but are less harmful to the environment. It also contains new, less harmful
versions of existing products, such as a foam PVC substrate that is made almost
entirely from recycled polymer. Each EnviroBox will also include an environmental
report, Plastics in the Environment, which has been produced by Europoint's
Environmental Solutions Director, Vic Adie.
Europoint's environmental impact calculator, based on a spreadsheet format,
ranks materials on the impact that they have throughout their lifecycle
(i.e. how much energy is needed to produce them, their biodegradability and
recyclability) and gives users an overall rating for each one. The company
believes that the calculator, the first of its kind, will help dispel much
of the confusion surrounding the range of materials and help retailers identify
"This initiative follows online research that we undertook to assess the
interest from high street retailers into less harmful signage and display
products," said Adie. "We found that there's a huge demand from retailers
who are keen to reduce their impact on the environment. However, there often
seems to be confusion regarding relative environmental merits of new types of
substrates available. For example, if a company wants to avoid contributing
to landfill, which substrates are most appropriate? Or, if they want to
minimize the amount of energy, and therefore carbon, needed to produce or recycle a
particular material, which one should they choose? It's an incredibly
complex area, which is why we want to encourage debate."
In the coming weeks, Europoint will meet a number of retailers, printers and
creative agencies to introduce the EnviroBox, calculator and report, to help
drive interest in the latest materials. The company, which is also currently
developing a bespoke range of greener substrates for some of the UK's
largest retail brands, will also use the meetings to research what kinds of
substrates they want to see developed. It will then work with suppliers to develop the
next generation of environmentally friendly substrates.
Adie added: "We are currently working on a project for one of the biggest
names in retail, which, if successful, will replace 500 tonnes a year of a
PVC-based product with a far more environmentally friendly one that does the same job.
That's a huge difference to the environment. It also means that PaperCo will
beat the forefront of substrate technology as retailers switch to less harmful
plastic and then move away from plastics altogether. Sending materials to
landfill is getting increasingly expensive, so apart from the environmental
arguments there are sound business reasons driving this trend."