Printing business waste reduction

Paper and substrate choices for your printing business


Each year, thousands of tonnes of paper and board ends up in the waste stream in Northern Ireland. This is a waste of a valuable resource, uses declining landfill space and can contribute to climate change. Paper from non-sustainable sources can result in the permanent destruction of forests and the communities and wildlife they support.

You should use recycled paper wherever possible as it:

  • is equal in quality to paper from virgin-forest sources
  • is readily available
  • demonstrates that you are committed to sustainable procurement
  • diverts waste paper from landfill
  • need not cost more

Recycled products can have a variety of labels on them to show their recyclability and/or their recycled content.

Ecolabelled paper

You should look for paper products with ecolabelling. This means that during production, the products:

  • create fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • create fewer emissions to water of chlorine compounds and organic wastes during production
  • have a limit on energy consumption
  • use only recycled fibres or virgin fibres from sustainably managed forests

Other substrates

There are a number of other substrates including plastics, glass, ceramics, metal and textiles, each with their own unique properties. Apart from PVC, you should usually be able to recycle all these materials easily.