Go Green with ID Card Printing

By 2009/08/19ID Cards
There are a number of ways to keep the environment in mind when you are planning your ID supply and equipment purchases. A little research can turn up interesting details about advances in sustainability throughout this industry. We will start with a look at consumables for use with your existing card printer and finish up with a brief overview of what to look for when you are buying a new machine.The easiest way to make earth friendly upgrades is by changing what type of card stock you purchase. 100% recycled PVC is available in a standard 30 mil thickness and can be used for any application you would normally use virgin PVC for. Purchasing this type of item supports the recycling industry and makes it more affordable for recyclers to continue to provide these products. An even more popular option is eco-friendly corn based material. The particular variety of corn used is not diverted from our food chain and manufacturing requires up to 50% less fossil fuel than standard PVC production. These biodegradable cards offer the same high quality printing surface you are accustomed to, so you don’t have to “settle for less” to reduce your environmental impact.

More Tips: 1. Look for clear badge holders manufactured from recycled PVC and lanyards woven from bamboo fiber or post-consumer PET for your accessories.

2. Organizations like Earth911 can help you find a recycler for your obsolete plastic ID products, so make a point of collecting any badges that are no longer needed so the materials can be sent to a reclamation facility. Remember to cut up any items that have identifying information on them.

3. Laminate or apply a topcoat to all your cards to increase their longevity.

Industry Leaders: When it comes to environmental commitment, there are a couple of companies that stand out from the rest.

Evolis offers the Tattoo Rewrite printers, which allow you to reuse materials over and over again by erasing and reprinting the thermo-sensitive surface of specially designed cards. Their Pebble units incorporate “ribbon saver” technology, which conserves monochrome ribbon by using the minimum length necessary for each print job. This European company complies with strict guidelines regarding the use of hazardous substances in its products (RoHS compliance). They are also up to speed with the related Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment directive (WEEE) for managing the safe disposal of used electronic devices. Evolis boasts solar energy and rainwater harvesting at its headquarters and daily selective waste sorting in both manufacturing and administrative departments.

Zebra (formerly Eltron) practices full disclosure with its 12 page Corporate Product Material Content Policy. End users will be glad to know that they can check to see the full list of hazardous substances excluded from use in the manufacturing process. Zebra holds suppliers of parts and raw materials to the same exacting standards in an effort to keep their supply chain free of pollutants such as ozone depleting substances and heavy metals. Packaging materials from this company are also marked with appropriate recycling symbols to make it easy for you to keep up the good work by reducing waste at your office. The corporation has its own recycling program in place to accept used Zebra cartridges at its Illinois facility if you are willing to pay the postage.