Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Will we have a federal subsidies for green printing?

Well, it might be. What used to be only a fantasy of few is becoming an actual plan .

Frank Locantore reported on Better Green Project that "c (PBO) will announce plans to introduce legislation in the US Congress that will allow companies to receive refunds from state sales tax as a reward for purchasing environmentally responsible print projects."

This announcement is going to take place this month (July 19-20) at the Print Oasis 2010, which is a print buyers conference and exhibit. Now, at first it sounded strange to me - regulation that will support green printing? But in second thought, why not? I mean, so far the green printing market is based on voluntary initiatives of companies and printers, but if that's a lesson we can learn from other green markets, it's that voluntary initiatives are fine and can change things to some degree, but to see a real change, we need a regulation that will back it up and provide adequate incentives to do the right thing.

According to Suzanne Morgan,
President and Founder of PBO, who introduced this initiative in an email last month, "this legislation proposes that any print project that is bought in an environmentally sustainable way is eligible for refunds of state sales taxes by the Federal government."

The most interesting question to me (and others as you can read on tree dead edition) would be what would be the standards a printing project will need to meet to be eligible for the refund. Ms. Morgan's email doesn't go too much into details (it promises that the exact legislation is very achievable and will be presented in detail on July 19, 2010 ), but it implies that the standards can be recycled, include 15% or more PCW, are printed on paper that is legally harvested, etc.

Given that the minimum post-consumer waste content required by the EPA for uncoated papers is 30% (it's 10% for coated paper), 15% sounds a bit low. It would be also interesting to see if there will be a mention of FSC certification and chlorine usage, which are also crucial elements.

I guess we'll have to wait for July 19 and see. In any case I believe POB deserves big kudos for their efforts. If regulation can support and incetivize green buildings, green cars, green energy and many other green products and services, why not green printing??

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!