Environmental Practices at The Gatehouse
- The first print unit in Scotland to successfully introduce a programme of alcohol reduction thereby reducing IPA (isopropyl alcohol) and VOC's (volatile organic compounds) from their premises.
- 48% of paper purchased by the Gatehouse during 2008 was recycled with the balance being made up from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests.
- One member of staff is part of the University's waste management working group
- Environmentally friendly products such as rechargeable batteries, marker pens, washing up liquid etc purchased wherever possible
- PDF proofing system introduced to replace hard copy outputs
- Aluminium printing plates recycled through waste disposal company
- Department is now registered with the OGC recycled printing papers framework agreement policy
- Chemical free computer to plate production system
- Press chemicals collected by a waste management company, recycled and disposed of safely
- Waste paper trimmings are recycled
- Notepads are made from the waste paper offcuts and recycled throughout the University free of charge
- Recycling of staff waste - plastic bottles, cans, glass etc
- Recycled paper purchased for specific customers and job type
- Packaging boxes and packing material recycled
- Vegetable oil based inks used in the printing process
- Reduced waste caused through errors - quality and production checks
- Building fitted with movement activated lighting system
- Cleaning chemicals are used in hand dispensers and not aerosols
- All paper used in the printing process is produced from renewable/sustainable resources, from the latest mills using chlorine-free processes
Recycled Printing and Paper - The Facts
The Design and Print Consultancy at The Gatehouse promote printing on recycled paper and here we provide the facts you need to make an informed choice for your commercial printing or photocopying requirements.
The cost of recycled paper has plummeted in recent years, the quality is stunning and the production and use of recycled paper is more eco friendly than using virgin paper.
If you are looking for a certified eco alternative to recycled then Forest Stewardship Council approved paper is for you, for free product samples or further information then contact us on telephone 262945.
Defining Recycled Papers
There are varying definitions of genuine recycled paper. General thinking is to encourage the highest post-consumer recycled content whenever possible, providing that 'fitness for purpose' and performance criteria are taken into consideration.
NAPM - National Association of Paper Merchants is the Gatehouse recognised "Best Practice".
Recycled paper that carries the NAPM Recycled Logo contains a minimum of 75% genuine waste, which is:
1. Convertors waste: waste which has left the mill and is waste from a cutting or slitting operation undertaken to meet a commercial order.
2. Printers waste: printed or unprinted - waste collected from a printing operation and may be either 'trimmings' (guillotine waste), 'overs', 'rejects' or any other similar waste received direct from a printer.
3. Domestic, household or office waste: waste collected from either of these places which may be printed or unprinted.
Any combination of 1, 2, or 3 can go towards the 75% genuine waste fibre minimum. Under no circumstances can mill broke contribute to genuine waste.
The NAPM has been the accredited Trade Association for UK paper and board wholesalers for over 75 years.
Printing on Recycled Paper - FAQ
If you are considering printing on recycled paper here are the answers to frequently asked questions.
What about Quality and Performance?
Improvements in the quality of the recycled paper grades now available mean that their quality and performance is equal to that of virgin paper, particularly if choosing top of the range recycled papers made from 100% de-inked waste, such as Ep4, Arriba and Revive brands we use.
Recycled Paper is More Expensive - Right?
Wrong! Recycled paper has aligned with conventional paper prices in recent years due to increase in demand, refinement of the papermaking process and the significant reduction in energy and water needed to make recycled paper compared to conventional paper.
What is Post-Consumer Waste?
This is paper that has been used by the consumer and returned for recycling, thus keeping it out of a landfill. The more post-consumer waste that is incorporated into recycled material the better!
What is Virgin Fibre?
Virgin fibre is new fibre that has never been used by a manufacturer before to make paper or other products.
What is Pre-Consumer Waste?
Pre-consumer waste is the material that occurs as a by-product to the printing process, such as printers trim, make-ready and overs. We segregate all of our pre-consumer waste and have it collected each week for recycling.
What is Mill Broke and Recovered Fibre?
Mill broke occurs during the paper making process e.g. trimmings and faulty paper which goes straight back into the pulping process. Since it has never been used in a product, it does not count as recycled fibre but is defined as recovered fibre.
How is Ink removed from Paper for Recycling?
Sometimes the ink is not removed from the paper when it is processed but allowed to disperse into the pulp, discolouring it slightly - which is why some recycled paper can have a greyish tinge.
However, all of the recycled papers we recommend for printing are de-inked and of a conventional whiteness. If the paper is to be de-inked, this can be done in one of two ways, by washing, flotation or a combination of both methods:
1. Washing - As the paper is pulped, soaps are added which separate the ink from the paper and allow it to be washed away in water which can then be cleaned and re-used.
2. Flotation - Air is passed through the pulp, producing foam which will hold at least half of the ink and can be skimmed off.
Sometimes the pulp is also bleached; hydrogen peroxide is most commonly used as it breaks down into water and oxygen on disposal, although chlorine bleach is sometimes still used.
Although the de-inking process uses water and chemicals, it is still less harmful to the environment than the manufacturing process of making new paper.
What happens to the Ink?
Ink that is removed from recycled pulp can be burned to generate energy to run the paper mill, or sold to make useful materials such as compost or gravel for roads.
What are ECF and TCF Papers?
ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) and TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) papers are made from pulp which has been bleached using hydrogen peroxide instead of harmful chlorine.
Recycled papers are de-inked and if necessary are brightened with hydrogen peroxide or inert, harmless brightening compounds.
What is acid free paper?
Acid free paper has had the acid removed from the pulp leaving it with a neutral pH of 7.
Why should I choose recycled papers?
Choosing to use recycled paper is an ethical issue and down to either personal or University attitude towards CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility. However, using recycled paper will:-
1. Reduce landfill - using recycled paper diverts waste paper from entering landfills. Landfills are a source of methane emissions, which are a contributor to global warming. What is equally important is that landfills are rapidly becoming full, and fewer new sites are available.
2. Continue the demand for recycled materials - recycling is only viable if end-markets are created for the products made from recovered waste paper.
3. Place less strain on global forest resources - paper recycling optimises the use of a valuable material and reduces the amount of virgin pulp required. Although forests are increasingly managed in a sustainable way there is a need to reduce wastage by using more recycled content.
What Recycled Paper is used by The Gatehouse?
Using the official definition we use genuine 50:50, 75 and 100% Recycled Papers. For those that are interested the specific quality brands we use are Revive and Greatcoat coated and uncoated. Conqueror 70% recycled FSC Watermark is the University preferred branded business stationery.
There are no cost effective 100% recycled coated papers on the market at the time of writing. However, the department is registered with the OGC buying solutions framework agreement which promotes, develop and expands the market to meet the demands for recycled paper used by the public sector. Designed specifically to meet the needs of the public sector customers, the framework has secured extremely competitive rates. It is estimated that public sector customers can save an estimated 18%.
Forest Stewardship Council - what is FSC Recycled?
There is some confusion as to how a recycled paper can achieve FSC certification as recycled fibre does not involve using trees!
The simple answer is that if the paper mill has achieved certification under the "FSC Credit System" it can call an agreed percentage of its overall annual paper output FSC certified, which is a sensible approach in our opinion.
"Why not ask for recycled paper to be used on your next print project"