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Printing publications, statements and forms for various business functions including business cards, tax and court forms, posters, reports and bus timetables is part of everyday county operations. The inks, paper types, and energy used during printing is very resource intensive and can have negative environmental impacts. Ink emissions can affect air and water quality, and inks can require large amounts of energy to apply, deplete raw materials, and cause disposal concerns. Best practice is to require the use of inks made from renewable resources such as soy, vegetable oil, and cellulose derivatives that is biodegradable and utilize paper or other media made from recycled content that is recyclable.

Policy and Goals:

As stated in King County's Sustainable Purchasing Executive Policy (CON 7-22-EP),

  • Purchase 100% recycled content copy paper
  • Reduce copy paper consumption by 35% by 2020 over 2010 numbers
  • Print double-sided copies

Choose

A printing service which:
  • lowers its Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • uses biobased inks
  • prints on recycled content paper and other media (i.e. polypropelene, cotton)
  • owns ENERGY STAR certified machines

Avoid

  • virgin paper
  • petroleum inks
  • inks with high VOC
  • vinyl

An EPA checkmark indicates a certification or standard is recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Conservatree: History of paper and list of environmentally preferable papers

Environmental Defense Fund: Paper Calculator

European Printing Ink Association: Environmental Impact of Printing Inks

Contact Us

Phone: 206-263-9400

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-7676