It’s well renowned that the print industry isn’t the most environmentally friendly. In fact, it’s particularly harmful to the environment. But does it have to be? Well, in short, no it doesn't. There are various factors you can implement into your marketing approach that will make for a “greener” approach to your printing methods and products.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable and you have to carry out tasks or produce products that do unfortunately result in harming the environment. But it’s possible to limit this damage. One major way of doing that is by using recyclable materials for your printed products. An example of this would be opting for biodegradable materials over the typical vinyl. But are they a good choice?
Well, this blog will weigh up the pros and cons of rolling out biodegradable materials in your products and whether it’s worth your business choosing to go down that route or not.
- What are Biodegradable Materials?
- Are They Sustainable?
- Are They Good Quality?
- How Expensive are They?
- Our Verdict
Biodegradable vinyl banner material is a more environmentally friendly alternative to your regular kind of product material, such as PVC. This material can be used both indoors and outdoors for your advertisements and has the added benefit of being compostable in landfill sites, unlike others that are harder to recycle and sometimes sit and clog up landfill sites.
Biodegradable banner material isn’t recommended for long-term outdoor use. Due to the nature of the material, it will gradually start to decompose and eventually you’re going to have to replace it. The material won’t start to break down for three to five years, compared to the traditional PVC vinyl banner which has a lifespan of six years.
So, that’s potentially three years less for a banner than choosing an alternative method. You could end up having to purchase banners twice over to match the same lifespan as a regular one.
This brings up one question: even though they do naturally decompose, is producing twice as many in the same length of time not putting the environment under just as much stress, if not more?
Biodegradable banner material offers the same strength or even greater than mostly used PVC. This contributes towards the durability and is therefore suitable for outdoor usage in extreme weather conditions. Biodegradable banner material has been tested under UV light and does not show any loss of image quality compared to PVC.
As with most biodegradable materials, biodegradable banner material is a more expensive option than the more common PVC and vinyl banners. The materials cost more and because they don’t last as long, you may end up buying more frequently too.
However, landfill space in the modern age is terribly expensive, so if you want to dispose of a more traditional banner, it may cost you more to leave it in a landfill. Whereas the biodegradable material will start to naturally decompose after three to five years, saving you any money on disposing of it properly.
So in the short term, these materials may leave you a little more out of pocket than the others. In the long run, however, you’ll be better off when you don’t have to organise for a business to come and collect your banners or have to take them to a recycling centre yourself.
Biodegradable Materials are More Ethical
Biodegradable banners are obviously a more ethical and environmentally-conscious decision than the traditional alternative.
But in addition to helping the environment, they can also help your business' reputation.
When a business upholds strong ethical decisions and takes them into their marketing projects, they boost their public image and earn a lot of respect from their target audience. By using biodegradable materials, you'd be showing the public that your business cares more about reducing its environmental footprint to as little as possible than maximising revenue.
Overall, we think that biodegradable materials are a great choice for your next large format print or future marketing campaign. The materials are so much kinder on the environment and that’s something that within the industry as a whole we need to make a priority. If the industry started to implement more biodegradable materials, we’d be operating more ethically too. The use of such materials will enhance your brand image and draw new customers in as people want to feel like they’re doing their bit for the environment.
Biodegradable materials start to decompose after three to five years, so there’s no need to worry about having to dispose of them correctly like there is with normal, traditional materials like PVC and vinyl. They’ll also prove to be cheaper in the long run, which is a good thing for any business.
Find Out More About Ethical Marketing…
Whether it’s starting by looking at your employee culture and encouraging sustainable habits or reviewing your recycling policy and possibly clamping down on its strictness, there are various ways in which businesses can pull together and make for a more environmentally friendly industry. Biodegradable materials are a start, but there's more you need to know.
We’ve created a free guide explaining all the different decisions and actions you can take to make your business massively more ethical on the whole. Whether it’s introducing simple procedures like installing energy saving appliances to larger decisions like choosing the right ethical supplier, it’s all in there.
Download your copy below and take the first step towards making your business a more ethical, eco-friendly organisation.