Midlands-based reprographics partner to the label and packaging sectors, Creation Reprographics, has commented on an important upswing in demand for water-washable flexo plates, and what it may mean for the future of the packaging and labels sector.
In response to the growing demands for more sustainable flexographic print supply chains, the business has challenged the industry to ‘think solvent-free’ through 2021 and believes that the packaging and labels sector is currently moving towards the next significant step-change in its development.
Matt Francklow, Managing Director at Creation Reprographics, commented: “We are all familiar with the sustainability challenges shaping the industry. Having seen the direction that printers are taking to accommodate the sustainability needs of brand owners, we would like to see 2021 be the year that the flexo sector finally embraces solvent elimination from the platemaking process altogether.
“In a particularly cost-sensitive market, businesses of every size have felt the pinch of rising solvent costs in 2020. We believe that on balance, this could prove to be a blessing in disguise as it results in more packaging and label printers exploring ‘green’ water-washable alternatives, such as the Asahi AWP™ range that we offer at Creation.
“A really interesting point to note is that when printers think sustainable production, they often expect compromises, whether that be in quality, speed, versatility or otherwise. AWP™ plate technology proves that water washable plates can remove the need for solvents while also saving time and money, boosting quality and on-press performance and delivering the reproduction consistency that is so pivotal for today’s volume-focused print sector. It’s a win:win for people, profits and the planet!”
As a dedicated reprographics partner, Creation has committed to helping businesses of every size adopt sustainable prepress practices. The business has previously launched ‘ProjectZero’, a document outlining the company’s commitment to zero-carbon reprographics and taken forward a number of initiatives across the business to minimise its carbon footprint.
Matt concluded: “I believe we are at a real turning point for the sector. 2021 could be the year that flexographic print finally focuses on eliminating solvents in prepress. Sustainable plate technology isn’t just an eco-friendly way of performing the same tasks that printers are used to, it’s a way to enhance service offering and quality. It’s clear that 2021 is going to be a landmark year for sustainable flexo, and we’re proud to help lead the charge.”