Sustainable Printing in Production Lines | InkJet, Inc.



Sustainable printing in production lines is the practice of using environmentally responsible and resource-efficient methods to minimize the environmental impact. This approach considers various aspects of the printing process, from selecting materials and inks to the energy used, waste generated, and the overall life cycle of printed products. 

Sustainable printing not only benefits the environment but can also lead to cost savings, improved corporate image, and compliance with environmental regulations. It is part of a broader trend toward sustainability and responsible business practices in various industries, including printing and packaging. According to a recent survey of global executives across sectors, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability commitments are a strategic priority for many companies, and ESG and sustainability budgets are rising.

Here are eight strategies to achieve sustainable printing in production lines:

8 Strategies for Sustainable Printing in Production Lines

1) Green inks and toners

Use eco-friendly and low-VOC (volatile organic compound) inks to minimize air pollution and reduce the negative impact on human health.

2) Energy-efficient equipment

Select energy-efficient printing equipment and technologies to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

3) Eco-friendly materials

Choose sustainable printing materials, such as recycled paper or alternatives like bamboo or hemp paper, to reduce the environmental footprint of the printing process.

4) Reduced waste

Minimize waste in the printing process through improved color management, print-on-demand technologies, and efficient print job planning to save resources and reduce costs.

5) Sustainable packaging

Consider the entire product life cycle, including packaging and end-of-life disposal, to develop a more sustainable approach to printing.

6) Renewable energy sources

Switch to renewable energy sources for powering printing equipment to reduce the carbon footprint of the production process.

7) Recycling

Recycle printing waste, including paper, cardboard, and consumables, to reduce the environmental impact and promote sustainability.

8) Education and training

Train staff on sustainable printing practices and promote a culture of sustainability within the organization.

Sustainable Inks and Toners

One of the steps to sustainable printing identified above involves using eco-friendly and low-VOC inks and toners, which help to minimize the environmental impact and reduce the toxicity of industrial printing in the following ways:

  • Eco-friendly inks and toners:
    • The manufacturing process for eco-friendly inks and toners is sustainable and environmentally friendly. 
    • Many use renewable resources, such as soy-based, vegetable-based, and water-based inks, which can be replenished more easily than traditional petroleum-based inks.
    • It's also possible to make eco-friendly inks and toners from recycled materials, reducing the need for new resources.
  • Low-VOC inks and toners:
    • Low-VOC inks and toners are designed to release fewer VOCs during printing, making them better for air quality.
    • Various printing applications, such as large-scale commercial printing and packaging, typically use these inks and toners to reduce harmful emissions.
    • Inks and toners with low VOCs are especially important for indoor environments to maintain indoor air quality.

Choosing eco-friendly and low-VOC inks and toners can offer several benefits, including:

  • Eco-friendly inks and toners can lower carbon footprints and save natural resources.
  • The use of low-VOC inks and toners contributes to a healthier and safer work environment.
  • Toners and inks with low VOC emissions help companies comply with regulations in many regions.
  • By reducing waste and promoting responsible resource use, these products contribute to corporate sustainability goals.

Ensure that eco-friendly and low-VOC printing materials meet your environmental and health standards by checking their labels, certifications, and manufacturer specifications. Additionally, consider the type of printing technology and applications you need, as different types of inks and toners may suit various demands.

Laser Printers vs. InkJet Printers

Laser printers are often considered more environmentally friendly regarding reduced cartridge waste and faster printing, but they tend to consume more energy during operation. Inkjet printers can be more energy-efficient during printing but may generate more waste due to frequent cartridge replacements.

Laser printers and inkjet printers have different environmental impacts. Which is more environmentally friendly depends on various factors, including your usage patterns and the specific models you're comparing. Let’s compare the two types of printers:

Sustainable Printing: A Comparison of Laser and Inkjet Printers


Laser Printer

Inkjet Printer


Laser printers use toner cartridges, which typically last longer than inkjet cartridges, meaning less frequent replacement and less waste.

Inkjet printers use liquid ink cartridges, which can run out faster and result in more frequent cartridge replacements, leading to more plastic waste.

Energy Consumption

Laser printers consume more energy during operation, especially when printing large volumes of text or graphics.

Inkjet printers are more energy-efficient, but some models consume power to maintain readiness.

Printing Speed

Laser printers are faster than inkjet printers, so they spend less time running.

Inkjet printers are slower than laser printers and take longer to complete a job.

Materials and Emissions

Toner cartridges are made from plastic and metal, which can be recycled. However, the toner itself can release VOCs during printing.

Ink cartridges are also made of plastic, and the liquid ink can be messier to handle and dispose of. 

The environmental impact also depends on the specific make and model of the printer, so it's essential to research and compare the environmental attributes of different options before making a choice. Additionally, adopting eco-friendly printing practices, such as double-sided printing, can help reduce the environmental impact of both laser and inkjet printers.

InkJet Can Help Meet Your Sustainable Printing Needs

Inkjet, Inc. offers a range of laser marking systems and continuous inkjet and thermal inkjet printers to meet your requirements for sustainable printing in production lines. For more than 30 years, we've been developing and distributing printing solutions for manufacturing. We also make a range of ink formulas, including low-VOC inks, aftermarket alternatives, and specialty formulas for unique jobs. 

Choosing the right machine depends on the materials you're coding, the unique qualities of your products, and your sustainability goals. You need a printer to handle your products' surface quality and fit into your production line. Let InkJet, Inc.'s experts help you determine which printer is right for you. 

To learn more about the different types of industrial printing and which printers will most benefit your operation while meeting your sustainability requirements, contact InkJet, Inc. today by dialing (800) 280-3245.