For the last few years, the “going green” initiative has grown at a seemingly exponential rate. The printing industry is not one to be left behind on this movement and has been trying to keep Americans informed on its efforts to stay eco-friendly.

In the May issue of Wide-Format Imaging, Mark Vruno discussed the most recent initiatives being undertaken in the printing business to ensure the smallest impact as possible on the environment.

One thing that wide-format printing is trying to encourage is eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic from packaging and billboards.

Don Carli, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC) in New York, has tracked print-related green advancements for more than a decade, according to the article. Carli said the industry is beginning to see substrate developments such as woven and bio-based materials that extend far beyond FSC paper certifications and recycling initiatives now commonplace among the nation’s print firms.

Vruno also discussed the upcoming special exhibit titled “Media Mundo @ drupa 2012.” The leading international trade fair for the print and media industry, the quadrennial drupa print show included lectures on sustainable forestry and paper, recycling and material efficiency and sustainable product design.

Rudiger MaaB, co-initiator of Media Mundo said in a statement that the event is focused on the sustainability of the entire industry.

“The fundamental concept, which combines a themed exhibit of suppliers…with a pioneering series of events, makes it possible to present one of the most important and future-oriented issues of the media industry in an authentic and diverse way,” MaaB said.

In addition to using eco-friendly inks and types of printers, businesses should invest in high-quality lamination equipment. That way, for example, training booklets or other bundles of paper that often need to get reprinted in bulk, can be protected and made available for reuse.

Also, laminating machines for schools will be highly beneficial for those institutions, as teachers could reuse informational handouts for students, and not have to worry about mass print jobs on a regular basis.