According to new studies commissioned by Epson, a worldwide switch from lasers to inkjet printers by 2025 could save 1,300,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per year. The study revealed that switching to inkjet technology would reduce energy consumption by 52.6%, compared to current levels. A reduction of that amount in energy equates to taking around 280,000 cars off our roads for one year.
Inkjet – The Better Technology
As inkjet printers use less energy and produce fewer waste products, they can be more environmentally friendly than laserjet types.
Laserjet printers have been around for much longer than inkjet models, but they can consume more energy with the heat produced to create a print. A laserjet printer’s output is powered by a toner, which is essentially a powder-based ink made up of plastic granules. When a laserjet printer operates, it uses heat to melt the powder before being transferred onto paper. Due to the nature of powder, printing in colour will require separate drums for each colour of toner. The carbon emissions from laserjet printers are hence caused by its need for multiple drums in colour printing, its higher energy consumption, and waste from disposing of the toner drums every time the powder runs out.
Meanwhile, inkjet technology sprays drops of liquid-based ink from specially designed nozzles on the cartridge to produce a print. Colours are only divided by compartments within the same cartridge. This method of printing explains why inkjet printers are more energy efficient, produce less waste and are a more sustainable alternative to laserjet printing.
The Cost Of Current Printing Solutions
There is a growing concern over the amount of carbon emissions produced by the world’s printing industry. Carbon emissions are one of the biggest contributors to climate change. The largest source of carbon emissions is the burning of coal for electricity production. According to the Cool Climate Network based at UC Berkeley, paper and print products account for around 1% of global carbon emissions. In 2016, the United States (US) printing industry was responsible for generating 37.7 million metric tons of carbon emissions. Switching laserjet printers for inkjet printers collectively may scale down this number.
A Global Effort
Inkjet technology presents a better alternative in the printing industry and its use can make a significant positive impact on the environment. But to reduce carbon emissions by 52.6% of current levels would require drastic measures and a worldwide effort across the sector, as suggested by the Epson-commissioned study. Measures necessary to be put in place are:
1. Technological innovation
With the upward trend of appliance ownership by both homes and businesses, technological innovation is necessary to keep finding energy efficient solutions. Inkjet printers are already widely available in the market. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas, for example, has initiated efforts to reduce their carbon footprint with the launch of Paperline Eye Care photocopy paper made of 100% sustainable materials.
2. International cooperation
To drive action and accelerate progress, international cooperation is imperative. This is to forge stronger ties among corporations and governments, encourage the sharing of resources to raise awareness and adopt energy efficient appliances throughout its global network.
3. Behaviour change
Everyone can play their part to make a huge impact on the planet. Switching to inkjet printers at home and choosing printing papers from sustainable sources can help to reduce energy consumption. Small changes over the long term may bring positive changes to the environment.
Asia Pulp & Paper’s Efforts To Responsible Practices
Asia Pulp and Paper is a leading paper manufacturer with a goal to establish responsible business practices throughout their operations. They create solutions and continuously operate with care for their stakeholders, community and the environment. Asia Pulp & Paper is committed to practices to protect forests and peatlands, while leveraging technology to minimise their environmental impact.