Enviro pack
We have developed a recycled sample swatch which is available via our online shop. This has been a major success with us having difficulty in keeping up with the requests. We have requests from all over Australia for our packs which consist of a paper sampler (held together with cotton rope), and we also have available samples of our recycled envelopes. The paper sampler has our chosen range of recycled standard stocks with the enviro accreditation's of the stock and the country of origin. We believe that the country of origin is extremely important as we like to prioritise our Australian made products over imports as an aid to our local economy.

If you would like a sample pack to see and feel the paper stock prior to your order you can order one here: Sample Paper Swatch

"Know your printing paper" is a guide to most (not all) recycled stock available in Australia and some helpful information - download pdf

Offset or digital
All stock used by Eco Digital are either recycled or FSC certified and we produce both offset and digital print. We can use the same stocks for either method.

OFFSET: For the offset print we use 100% vegetable inks and environmental pressroom chemicals. Using state of the art CTP plate production means no more film needed for platemaking. All used aluminium plates are recycled.

Digital printing (with the Xerox DocuCentre) does not need to use vegetable ink as the toner is non toxic, does not emit harmful CFC's into the atmosphere and can be de-inked after use if disposed of for recycling in the correct way. We believe it is an excellent environmental choice. The Xerox DocuCentre which can print from 70gsm up to 400gsm coated stock prints beautifully on both coated and uncoated paper/card. Because of the nature of the method there are no run up sheets needed - no waste. Water is not used in this method at all and because it is fast with no setup time needed the power usage is a fraction of that needed for offset printing. We print only what is needed and the finished product can be recycled again after use, using the same methods used for recycling offset printed jobs.

All used toner cartridges go back into the original shipping boxes for collection by xerox and recycling. Go to http://www.fujixerox.com.au/about_us/policy_2.jsp (this page will open in a new window) to view the Fuji Xerox environmental policy.

We feel that we offer the best of both worlds with the digital and the offset. The decision usually comes down to the quantities needed, the time available to produce the job, the finish required and whether there are other special finishes involved. We will offer you the best price and the most appropriate print method for your individual job.

Recycled information/symbols

Made up of recycled fibres which have been extracted from existing paper products to be used in the manufacture of further paper products. Recycled paper can be 100% recycled or consist of a mixture or pre and post consumer waste along with some virgin fibre to add strength.

Pre-consumer Waste








Only types of waste from the mill itself such as offcuts or broke.


Post Consumer Waste








Paper has been used in some form after leaving the mill.  Gathered as offcuts from paper merchants, office waste or printed waste through household recycling.

Wood Free








Free from wood based impurities such as Lingin found in the plant structure by a chemical pulp process. Leaving only pure cellulose, the ideal substance to make paper. Stops discolouration problems.  Also an environmental issue as no bleaching is generally necessary once Lignin is removed.


Environmental Accreditation

A paper mill that has internationally recognised environmental standards and an ongoing commitment to the conservation of natural resources.  The paper mill has established an environmental management system with standards in excess of legal requirements that operate in tandem with their product quality controls.


Responsible Forestry Practices









Fibre used in the production of paper that shows this symbol is sourced from pulp suppliers who practice responsible forestry techniques and/or use paper from managed plantation forests.


Totally Chlorine Free (TCF)







No chlorine gases or compounds are used in the bleaching process.


Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF)


No chlorine gases are used in the bleaching process. The ECF process uses chlorine dioxide - when the bleaching process is complete, the chlorine atom leaves the process as chloride or salt.

*There is no toxological difference between waste waters generated from ECF or TCF based bleaching.


Potential impacts of printing and design

The environmental impacts of paper do not stop with its manufacture but extend into printing finishes and design process



Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), are present in many of the inks used by the printing industry. Many VOCs are toxic, and pose environmental risks (such as harm to the ozone layer) and health risks. When they react with sunlight they form smog at lower atmospheric levels. When emitted indoors, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and loss of coordination.


The inks used in a standard printing run are petroleum-based with a VOC content in excess of 30%. These inks dry quickly, however the petroleum content requires stronger and more hazardous solvents to wash it off, thus contributing even more VOCs to the environment. The effects worsen when a greater number of colours are used.


Fluorescent and metallic colours are popular with advertisers because they are distinctive but they contain high levels of cadmium and other toxic metals. These inks are more difficult to remove than standard petroleum-based inks, intensifying the de-inking process. Many bright inks such as orange and yellow contain high levels of heavy metals such as copper and chromium. If this paper is composted and applied to land at high rates there is the potential for these heavy metals to accumulate in the soil and impact on plant, animal or human health. Similarly, if this paper is disposed of in landfills, these heavy metals could leach to groundwater.


One possible solution to both environmental and health issues is the use of vegetable based inks that are renewable and emit less toxic VOCs. Furthermore, soy ink (a type of vegetable based ink) is better suited to recycled content paper as it does not 'wick' (spread) as much. Additionally, soy ink is removed more easily than petroleum based compounds in the de-inking process of recycling.


Inks and recycling

De-inking paper is a necessary step in the recycling process. It involves 'washing' the paper, by mixing it with water, a detergent and air to form a froth, which is skimmed off before the pulp can be dried and made into new paper. This is an energy intensive process, made worse when heavily printed paper or board (print coverage of above 50%) is de-inked.


Printing finishes and pulping

A number of printing finishes, such as laminating, celloglazing, the use of synthetic glues and embellishments such as foil stampings are not conducive to the recycling process as they make the pulping process more difficult and cumbersome.


Graphic designers can also assist by avoiding 'bleeds' that are then trimmed. Ink extended beyond the trim marks requires intensive recycling than ink within the trim marks. It is also possible to consider ways in which to use less intensive colours and inks that are less toxic.

 Environmental impacts of the printed page

  Understanding the environmental impacts of the printed page throughout its life cycle will help companies make environmentally preferable choices when ordering printed documents. Paper that is not made from recycled-content or tree-free fibers takes its toll on the world's forests, and bleaching processes for paper are linked to cancer-causing effluents. Petroleum-based inks, wetting agents, and cleaning solvents used in the printing process produce toxic air emissions. And the process of binding documents typically involves toxic glues and adhesives, some of which can hinder recycling.
  The Context
  Pollution prevention is nothing new to the printing industry. The five most popular printing processes -- lithography, gravure, flexography, letterpress, and screen printing -- present an array of pollution problems, primarily associated with the use and disposal of etch baths, solutions, printing inks, and cleanup washes. Because of this, printing facilities are under intense pressure to comply with environmental standards from both federal and local regulators. Water pollution is a key regulatory issue -- as waste inks and hazardous effluents from press washes and other fluids are discharged into waterways or sent as sludge to disposal facilities.
  Those seeking an environmentally preferable printer can look to the growing number of industry leaders -- small and large print shops alike -- that have implemented beyond-compliance environmental initiatives. In recent years, these leaders have begun choosing low-emissions inks and solutions, improving the efficiency of operations to reduce waste, minimizing energy consumption, and reducing chemical use or discharges into wastewater. Additionally, a handful of government and nonprofit programs have begun exploring new options for pollution prevention in the printing industry. For example, the U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment Program operates several pilot programs to test new methods of pollution prevention for a number of print processes, including flexography, lithographic printing, and screen printing.
  New, cleaner technologies also provide opportunities for greening the printing process. Digital prepress technologies, such as computer-to-printing-plate systems, eliminate the chemical and solid waste resulting from traditional photographic platemaking processes. Some imagesetting products are now designed to eliminate chemicals used with traditional wet-processing systems. Less-polluting inks -- including soy- and other vegetable-based inks -- continue to improve in performance. Traditional inks with reduced emissions of volatile organic compounds are also available.
  Key Players
      * Select large and small printing companies have taken steps to go beyond compliance to find environmentally preferable printing practices and processes.
      * Graphic designers are leveraging their understanding of the environmental aspects of printing to design projects in ways that reduce paper use, use more recycled and "tree-free" paper, and avoid design decisions that increase waste and toxic emissions.
      * Print buyers are asking questions about the way they do business, and looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of their print projects.
      * State and federal regulators are requiring printing shops to implement environmental management systems and take steps to reduce emissions and waste.
  The Upside
      * If your company prints documents regularly, choosing an environmentally committed printer is an important component of green procurement.
      * Choosing environmentally preferable paper and inks publicly demonstrates your company's environmental commitment.
      * The environmental benefits from greening a large print job can be substantial when they lead to lower waste and emissions.
  Reality Check
      * Not all environmentally preferable options work with all printing processes. Ask your printer which inks and which papers will meet your needs.
      * While the options are out there, sometimes the information is not. Finding the greenest printer for the job may take some self-education and research.
      * Printers operate on tight margins, and this greatly limits their ability to invest in new equipment and experiment with new practices

At Eco Digital we can advise you on the "greenest" and most economical way to produce your next print job. With 20 years of experience in the printing industry to offer, and with environmental concerns at the forefront, you will feel very comfortable placing your printing project in our hands.