Toppan & Dow create recyclable event banners

Material recycling & reduction of landfill waste

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Toppan
Joint development with Dow enables recyclable polyolefin-based fabric decorations for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Photo - Toppan

Japanese company Toppan Printing, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, has launched sales of ‘ecocracy’, a recyclable fabric for banners and signage developed by combining Toppan’s processing technologies with Dow’s plastics expertise.

According to Toppan, ecocracy adds to the company’s lineup of increasingly eco-friendly solutions for a sustainable society by enabling banners and signage recovered after events have concluded to be re-pelletized as a recycled resin, which can then be blended with timber from wood waste to produce wood-plastic composite materials for such items as benches, floors, and plant pots.

Toppan’s selection of Dow’s polyolefin resin for the creation of the fabric and the use of polyolefin for all other plastic parts, such as membrane, mesh, eyelet, and yarn, facilitate a shift away from multiple plastic types to a monomaterial that claims to offer better recyclability than conventional tarpaulin banners.

Reduced plastic consumption

In addition to driving material recyclability and reducing landfill waste, ecocracy also helps reduce plastic consumption because the volume of plastic resin used is less than half that of traditional tarpaulin-based products, says Toppan. The fabric also offers visual advantages by demonstrating superior optics and eye-catching brightness to grab crowds’ attention. Toppan will produce, print, and process sheets used for ecocracy as well as recover banners, re-pelletize the polyolefin-based fabric and manufacture and sell products made from the recycled resin.

“This initiative is a great example of combining Dow’s materials science expertise with our customer’s market insights to create an outcome that is great for the environment,” said Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, global sustainability and technology director, Dow Olympic and Sports Solutions. “Working hand-in-hand with Toppan, we developed this polyolefin-based fabric to address the growing need to give plastic a second life.”

Dow has recently committed to additional plastic recycling targets, including enabling 1 million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships.

“This project with Dow has enabled us to push beyond the traditional use and end-of-life of our products,” said Seiji Furuya, technical strategy and development manager in Toppan’s Information and Communication Division. “Recycling banners will showcase how collaborations such as ours can help society shift away from single-use plastics and reduce the amount of materials destined for incineration or landfills, to create something entirely new.”

 

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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