Three Questions To Ask When Searching For An Eco-Friendly Screen Printer

15 May 2017
 Categories: , Articles


There are many different reasons why businesses choose to be eco-friendly in the way they operate. From the impact the business has on the environment to the ability to attract like-minded customers, the number of green businesses in America is on the rise. As a consumer who is very environmentally conscious and who wants to get T-shirts screen printed for their employees, how do you find a screen printer who can give you the product you need while operating under the environmental principles you have? Using these three questions as a screening process will help you get the relevant information you need to find out if your prospective screen printer operates in a manner that is friendly to the planet.

Are The Chemicals Used In The Business Eco-Friendly?

Screen printing supplies are going to vary. There is no shortage to the amount of chemical used in the printing process, and it is unrealistic to expect to get a high-quality print job with no chemical involvement in the process. However, just because a business needs some chemicals to function does not mean it has to use every chemical option available to them. Questions you can ask the screen printer about their chemical usage include:

  • Do you still use aerosols containing hydrocarbons or volatile organic compounds?
  • Are the degreasers and screen washes used by your company water based?
  • How do you dispose of the chemical residual after chemicals have been used?

In the screen-printing business, it is possible for business owners to choose to use citrus- or soybean-based products during the production of their goods. The questions listed above will give you an indication about how seriously they take their environmentally-friendly image.

Are The Inks Used For Printing Water-Based?

Water-based inks are available for screen printers to use in the United States, but not every shop is doing so. There are several reasons why the use of water-based printing ink is not 100% embraced by every screen printer. For example, water-based ink can dry on the screen while your printer is doing their print run. Water-based inks also take longer to cure than traditional chemical ones. However, once a printer does further investigation, they discover that the drying issue can be rectified by controlling the humidity within their business and a dryer helps to cut down the curing time.

The benefit of a printer using water-based ink for your printing job is it can be cleaned up faster and easier without complicated chemical compounds.

As well as the impact of the products used in the printing process, a screen printer can reduce their carbon impact by investing in the concept of recycling.

How Does The Business Recycle Waste?

The more waste your proposed screen printer puts in the trash, the more they are adding to the size of the local landfill. When seeking an environmentally-friendly screen printer, ask the representative these questions about waste:

  1. What does the business do with misprinted product? Does it get trashed or is it reused as shop rags?
  2. Does the business break down and recycle the cardboard boxes their raw materials are delivered in?
  3. How are used plastics disposed of?

A business that is committed to the environment has a recycling policy in place that they are proud to share with potential customers. Practicing environmentally-friendly practices is not the easiest way for a screen printer to operate. Water-based inks are harder to use; green cleaning products often cost more than chemical ones, and recycling takes time and effort. However, since a green lifestyle is something you firmly believe in, it is worth using these questions to help locate a screen printer which operates in a manner close to your ideals.