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Can you print books more sustainably?

The global demand for paper keeps rising every year, making recycled paper and the use of FCS-certified paper a current standard in the printing industry. But it’s not just a practical necessity that forces the industry to print sustainably, today’s consumers also expect eco-friendly book production. So, how do we meet those demands and what options are there for greener book printing?

Not sure where to start?

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Take on the carbon footprint of book printing

There are many ways for a book manufacturer to reduce the carbon footprint of their printing. An increasingly popular option is onshoring, in which books are produced closer to the end market, which means less pollution from transport and greater quality control. Ever since COVID proved how fragile the print and distribute method is, onshoring has become the way to go. 

Or you could invest in green energy to power your presses and production. While these are all efforts worth considering, the biggest impact you can make in terms of sustainable printing is by providing readers and publishers with books that can be easily recycled.

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Good to know:

The average global carbon footprint of a Xeikon employee is 11 ton of CO2. This is a mere quarter of the chemical industry average in Europe (40 ton/employee per year).

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Need advice from our experts?

Meet today’s standards of sustainability, find a smart solution to paper supply issues and produce high-quality results with digital printing.

Why the printing ink you use matters?

Paper demand is high and supply chains have a hard time keeping up. This issue has only increased with rising demands for paper packaging materials, in the wake of COVID and booming e-commerce, making recycled paper essential for book production. 

For graphic paper, recycling means deinking the pages to create pure white paper pulp that can be reused for new books or other applications. The extent to which this process is successful, is determined by the type of ink used. When ink particles are too big, as in the case of UV or liquid toner, or too small, like with Inkjet and Flexo, they will stay in the pulp. The result is a colored foam on top of the pulp that will need to be removed mechanically and treated in a separate waste line. Which makes for a smaller amount of white paper that can be recycled.

That’s why choosing the right printing technologies matters, for the deinkability of your books, the recyclability of your paper and by extent, to meet your customer’s expectations.

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Want to know more about the connection between inks, recycling and deinkability of paper?

How Xeikon’s dry toner technology can help out?

Xeikon’s presses are equipped with dry toner technology, ink that’s incredibly eco-friendly and makes paper recycling extra easy. How it differs from other ink types? Dry toner is composed of specially selected pigments and polymers which can easily be reduced in size during the deinking process and effortlessly removed from the paper pulp with water. 

The best part? With dry toner, you don’t need to worry about the substrate you use. Unlike standard inkjets that need to be printed on specifically coated paper to ensure full deinkability, dry toner is easy to remove regardless of the paper used. That way, you enjoy great flexibility for your book production, without having to compromise on your sustainability efforts. 

Looking to print your books more eco-friendly?

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Enabling green book production 

At Xeikon we carefully select and screen the ingredients of our dry toners to ensure planet-friendly printing that’s safe for marine life and free of toxic oils, allergens and metals. We set the bar high for sustainable printing, carefully monitor our impact and go to great lengths to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint.

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High-scoring deinking

Xeikon’s dry toners score high on the International Association of the Deinking Industry’s scale of efficient deinking, with a score of 90 out of 100!

Sparing with water

Xeikon print tech is a dry process, where water is only used to cool the printheads in a closed circuit in the machine.

Ethical and harm-free materials

We carefully select the raw materials of our toners, making sure they’re sourced ethically and don’t include harmful substances.

Print on demand

With digital book printing, you can produce books tailored to your customer’s needs. That means no surplus stock and less printing waste.

Substrate flexibility

Dry toner technology allows you to use any substrate you have in stock. You’re no longer dependent on a certain paper mill or brand.

Green energy-centric

The Xeikon toner and press assembly plant runs on 100 % green energy.

 Sustainability at the core of things

Xeikon is proud to be aligned with the Flint Group 2030 Strategy. This is based on the chart drawn up by the UN sustainable development goals. With sustainability as part of Xeikon’s core culture, 2009 saw us reducing our carbon footprint by 50%... simply by switching to green energy.

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Want to give your book printing an eco-friendly upgrade?