Marios K. Tsigonias, Anastasios E. Politis
Environment and its protection, as well as increasing sustainability requirements from the society, “push” the industry to act towards new materials, production processes and management of industrial products. Printed matters and in particular packaging are among those industrial “products” which need to be designed, produced, distributed and recycled with the sustainable processes.
Printing substrates - in general materials used for printing and packaging, are among the important factors that influence sustainable concepts within the graphic arts and packaging printing industry. Sustainability within printing substrates as well as printing inks, concern mainly recycled or environmentally friendly materials, which are currently used by the graphic arts industry. Paper, board and vegetable-based inks are examples of such materials.
However, as the protection of the environment is becoming an increasingly demanding issue, new materials and in particular new printing substrates are being evolved. The most prominent development is naturally degradable materials, which do not affect the environment. There are also techniques used to convert common packaging materials (such as PE, PP, PVC, PS) into degradable ones. Another process is the transformation of degradable materials into composite degradable ones, with the addition of alginates -polymers produced by the sea algae- or other biomass materials.
The present study aims primarily to explore the behavior of the Greek consumers and their opinion on degradable materials future use and secondly, to investigate the processing of degradable materials and in particular the printing and finishing processes within the Greek graphic arts industry and production of these materials.
Degradable packaging materials, Packaging industry, Consumers’ Environmental attitude, Green printing