The sign industry has changed by leaps and bounds in the last 30 years. From hand painting, to cut vinyl to large format printers, the sky is now the limit on what you want to be done. We can do it faster, for less and it can last longer.
These changes are great for the industry and for the customer, but not always great for the environment. Vinyl is a petroleum based product, in various forms. And although you don’t want a biodegradable product used for that $5000 wrap you just paid for, it would be nice if we could reduce our carbon footprint to the best of our abilities
The last 10 years have seen more and more biodegradable or non-PVC and recycled products made for our industry to support client desires for less waste.
- Banner materials and paper products made from recycled products (or from products that are recyclable) such as polypropylene and wood product.
- Eco-solvent and water-based inks that can give more vibrant colors without harsh odor and faster drying time.
- Non-PVC wrap vinyl and laminates that while not exactly biodegradable will not last as long in a landfill as traditional vinyl and actually conform better and install faster than the usual wrap vinyls.
Sign shops themselves have made the move to be greener. Most backing paper and pre-masks are biodegradable. Better filtering systems keep the fumes from paints and inks from getting into the air we breathe. We hold onto off-cuts and old pieces longer to avoid having to put them in a landfill to possibly resell at a lower price to save a customer some money.
Our suppliers (manufacturers and distributors of raw materials) also go to great lengths to help preserve the environment. By reducing delivery days, they can cut down on the amount of fuel consumed. Much scrap can be melted down and used again. Some even will melt down old sign materials for re-use.
We even give the backing from vinyl and laminate to locals looking for extra large paper for their kids to draw on, to line a bird cage, to put under a painting project or to property management companies to block out windows. Small scraps of substrate and vinyl go to the local daycare and kindergarten for craft projects.
So if you feel your signs need to be greener, don’t despair. There are all kinds of products out there to help you achieve your goal. Be sure to ask Dawn’s Sign Tech for a recommendation.
Check out these products: