Banner Box reaffirms its focus on sustainable materials
Banner Box has reaffirmed its environmental focus with an attention grabbing eco mesh hoarding outside its Chesterfield premises that reads: ‘Proudly sourcing sustainable material’.
Just over a year ago, Banner Box partnered with CMYUK to offer the latest and best performing eco materials to its customers, although lockdown interrupted the gathering momentum.
‘Prior to Covid-19 sustainable materials were gaining traction. We were starting to get lots of enquiries and requests for them. Then Covid-19 came along and everyone wanted PVC and acrylics fast,’ said Ryan Shelton, director, Banner Box. ‘Now it is settling down again, we will be concentrating on far more sustainable fabrics from now and into the future as we continue to do our bit for the environment.’
During lockdown, Banner Box was closed for just a single day. It was one of the first printers for PPE, and one of the earliest to produce PVC visors, which by the end of lockdown numbered over 100, 000. The company also fabricated facemasks, hospital scrubs, and body bags as well as PVC and acrylic sneeze guards, barriers, and screens.
‘The amount of single use plastic that has been produced over the last three months has been huge. It has definitely put us all on the back foot where the environment is concerned, but as we go forward, hopefully, we can start to think about health and wider eco issues, which is why the sourcing of sustainable materials is vital to our business model,’ said Ryan.
Prior to lockdown almost all Banner Box’s larger customers were increasingly asking for clean alternatives as part of their sustainability targets.
‘For many customers however, it is still about the price, and I know sustainable materials cost slightly more, but not that much more,’ said Ryan.
Banner Box has been testing out eco mesh products and is very impressed with their printability.
‘They print very easily, with punchy colours that are reacting well. We also put eco materials through their paces in field tests, trialling them outside to see how they react in adverse weather so we can really see what is viable,’ said Ryan.
The company has tracked the development of eco alternatives for the wide format digital print industry for some time but concedes many of the earlier products were too expensive and didn’t really perform how we would like.
However, times have changed, and Ryan now believes that quality viable eco alternatives at more than acceptable price points have finally arrived, which will turn the tide.
The recent big hitter introduced by CMYUK to the UK and Ireland is the Kavalan range of PVC free banner materials. This looks like PVC, has the strength of PVC and welds like PVC all at an attractive price point.
Not only is Kavalan PVC free, but also it is also phthalate free and adheres to strict environmental standards being REACH, RoHS, and 33P compliant.
Kavalan is specifically designed for waste to energy end of life conversion processes and can be incinerated without any adverse effects to human health or the environment. It is also up to 50% lighter than PVC thus storing up credits on its carbon footprint.
‘We are very excited about PVC free Kavalan,’ said Ryan. ‘It is something the market has been calling out for and definitely something it needs. It is going to really impact PVC printing. We have a FIAB welding machine, and the fact that FIAB has endorsed the product 100% is a big deal. It looks like the gamechanger we have been waiting for.’
Kavalan follows hot on the heels of CMYUK’s recently launched UFabrik Canvas White Back and Grey Back Eco wallcovering ranges. These materials have been fabricated from the yarn of single use plastic waste, and are used for traditional wallpapers, single piece wallcoverings, stapled canvas wraps, and roll up material to create stunning graphic walls for expos, events, and interiors.
As well as offering high performance and attractively priced eco materials, Banner Box has reviewed its own waste policy and signed up to an initiative whereby its reusable materials are going directly to recycling centres. It also replaced all its lighting to low energy LED bulbs and is currently reviewing its vehicle fleet to see how it can make environmental improvements here.