Alternative Paper Sources
Plan It Green has promoted the use of alternative paper stocks since 2001. The industry continues to evolve, producing a wider variety of stocks in more sustainable ways. Still, the business of manufacturing paper is highly water- and energy-intensive. The manner in which the paper is made is as important as the paper stock itself.
Labels & Stickers
Our compostable labels and paper labels with recycled content cost about the same as plastic labels. But from an environmental standpoint, our labels are far less expensive than plastic. Nothing lasts forever, but plastic labels come very close — and that’s the problem. Recycled plastic is a great thing, but the fact is that the vast majority of plastic is not recycled. When plastic ends up in your local river, ocean or landfill, that’s just the beginning of the story. As plastic biodegrades, it leaks toxic microscopic polymers which, when it rains, wind up in streams, rivers and eventually the ocean. These microscopic polymers are eaten by plankton, which are then eaten by larger fish, and so on and so on. The polymers do not flush out of the fishes’ system but continue to leak toxic chemicals inside their bodies. The polymers are endocrine disruptors and can cause the progeny of the fish to grow both female and male sexual organs.
Here’s an interesting example of how dissolvable labels can be used: The Nebraska Game and Parks Department wanted to disburse seeds in burned areas using wild animals as the means of conveyance. Wildlife would eat their prepared seed blocks and then, as they foraged in the mountains, ‘deposit’ the seeds with a nice healthy dose of nitrogen as well! Plan It Green Printing suggested and printed dissolvable label stickers for the seed blocks. The labels are applied directly onto the blocks. Our labels dissolve when it rains or snows, leaving no residues. The labels are made of wood cellulose and cause no harm to the environment.
Made from bamboo, bagasse and cotton-linters this uncoated stock lends itself to a ‘natural’ look.
Recycled Paper Labels
Paper labels with 30%pcw (post-consumer waste) semi-gloss paper and printed with soy, vegetable-based inks or digitally with low V.O.C. toner.
Very interesting stock, but we don’t really think of it as a ‘green’ stock. It’s impermeable to water, fantastic for freezer packaging and other uses where paper needs to withstand the elements. It’s got this soft, ‘buttery’ feel to it. No water (or trees, for that matter) is used for manufacturing it. That’s a huge advantage if you consider that the paper industry is one of the largest polluters of water in the world.
Printing on Paper
Offset, Sheet-fed, Litho
Soy ink printing on Books, brochures, curriculums, programs printed on high-content recycled stocks – for example, 100% post-consumer waste, sustainably manufactured using wind, solar, bio-fuel or low-impact hydro and Green-E Certified, Forest Stewardship Council (‘FSC’) or Sustainable Forestry Institute (‘SFI’) Certifed that the wood is coming from socially/responsibly managed forests and Made Carbon Neutral via buying carbon credits as offsets on the Chicago Energy Exchange.
High-content recycled paper, hole punched and strung
Coupons and tear-pad coupons with chipboard backing, 50 – 100 sheets to a pad or redeemable coupons. Printed on coated stock with 50% recycled and 25% pcw or uncoated 100% pcw stock using soy-based inks.