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We're committed to being green and are proud to produce work using recycled materials, eco-friendly printing methods and natural inks. Here's a breakdown of our materials and production, from beginning to end:

The Collective Press

Paper

All our prints are made using 100% recycled paper, 50% of that from recycled coffee cups.

Coffee on the go is more popular than ever—about 7 million paper cups of it are consumed every day in the UK. Yet less than 1 in 400 of those cups gets recycled. It's partly chemistry—the polyethylene that stops the cup getting soggy makes recycling difficult, and it takes a special process to separate the plastic from the paper waste.

New technology has developed in recent years enabling about 90% of the waste from the cup to be converted to FSC certified paper. The remaining 10% of waste (which is plastic) becomes something else entirely—making it a zero waste solution. The process and resulting paper has been developed to work with the latest printing methods ensuring misprints are avoided and a high quality outcome is met, thus further minimising waste. 

Of course, this is just a good design solution to the problem of recycling and does not address the root cause of the ongoing production of the single-use coffee cup—but it's a proactive start and we love that our prints can come from something useful.

The Collective Press
Printing

We use an independent Risograph studio to produce the majority of our prints, as well as open access screen printing studios for limited edition runs. Both print methods are the most eco-friendly ways to produce printed items and enable the use of natural, soy-based inks that are harmless to the environment.

Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicoloured image or design. After use the screens can be cleaned and reused for different designs—they can last for many years and repaired for longevity.

Risograph printing is done by a machine stencil duplicator. Think of it as a cross between screen printing and photocopying. The Riso machine prints one colour at a time in bright, vibrant soy-based inks. It is an ideal print method for posters, graphic prints, zines, comics, and other graphic arts and produces a beautiful, grainy quality and quirky mis-registration—for which it has become much loved. 

The Collective Press

Frames 

We use the highest quality frames for our prints, that have been sourced in the UK and are FSC certified. This means that the trees used to produce the solid wooden frames have been harvested in a responsible way that provides environmental, social and economic benefits for everyone involved.

Recycled Paper Bubble Wrap - The Collective Press

Packaging

The most difficult aspect of achieving a zero waste product and one that is an ongoing commitment, is our packaging. Our unframed prints are packaged on 100% recycled greyboard and wrapped for protection using biodegradable cello bags. Recyclable postal envelopes are used to post our prints to ensure they arrive flat and in perfect condition.

We use 100% recycled paper bubble wrap (pictured above) to ensure all framed prints arrive undamaged, and reuse cardboard boxes to encase the parcel for delivery. This is all held together with specially-sourced 100% recycled brown framers tape.

Every element we use to produce and deliver our prints is considered and we continue to look for ways we can reduce and improved our carbon footprint.

To view our prints, please visit our shop.