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Environmental Problems and Solutions in Printing Industry
The environment plays a critical role in life. The importance of the environment cannot
be undermined because it offers central necessities like food, air, water and shelter to animals,
human beings and plants. Meanwhile, the actions and decisions of human beings can adversely
affect the environment by causing pollution which may eventually make it difficult for plants and
animals to survive. Human beings damage the environment by either disposing waste, cutting
down trees or overexploiting resources. Damage to the environment later leads to climate
change, resource depletion, death of animals and dying of plants. Therefore, people need to make
wise decisions in regard to how they maintain the environment. This is because the environment
is not only supposed to serve the current generation but also future generations. The main
pollutants of the environment come from the industries. The emissions include the raw material
remains and gaseous releases like hydrocarbons. This is also the case in the printing industry
where different substances are released from the remains and chemicals used. For example, in
surfacing imaging inks are emitted while paper wastes are also deposited on the environment.
The paper explores the environmental problems and solutions in the printing industry and
particularly surface imaging.
The print industry particularly surface imaging produces large quantities of waste effluent
and residual sludge. It involves the application of imaging technologies to print on surfaces. The
technology is mainly used in engineering, design, art, and business. In spite of the numerous
benefits associated with surface imaging, technology has negative environmental impacts (Tong
et al. 857). Waste from surface imaging poses a threat to the natural environment by polluting
water and making the environment untidy. It is also critical to note that waste from the print
industry is also associated with diseases like cholera and typhoid when waste is deposited in the
water sources. The effluent is composed of varying compositions not limited to non-degradable
materials. Some of the waste contains high molecular mass polymers such as cellulose,
hemicellulose, resins, and fatty acids. Also, high polymer lignin, fibers lignin, and resins acid
derivatives are natural extracts of wood in the printing industry. Non-degradable materials like
lignin, some heavy molecular mass, such as cellulose, hemicellulose, suspended, and fatty acids
originate from the wood remnants that were used in the industry. Furthermore, the industry
produces favorable conditions for the growth of microbes which are contained in the effluents.
Management of waste from the print industry requires collaborative efforts from the different
stakeholders including the government, communities and the printing companies. Failure to
come up with appropriate measures will likely lead to deteriorating environmental conditions
which may, in turn, lead to climate change.
The printing industry has been undergoing constant growth and innovation due to the
introduction of new technological techniques. In 2005, statistics exhibited that approximately 45
trillion pages were printed globally every year. Besides, the United States had about 30,700
printing firms in 2006. The printing firms accounted for $112 billion of income in that year.
Furthermore, the printing industry is regarded as the fifth-largest industry in the United
Kingdom. Also, it is ranked sixth regarding environmental damages. In India, there are about
130,000 print presses. In 2004 and 2005, India exported different printed materials like books
and journals that were worth $550 million (Che 2). The exports were delivered to over 120
nations across different parts of the world. Besides, the increase in ...
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