The Screen Print Man

The environment is a global issue that involves all the major industrialised nations. One may tend to believe that ‘environment’ is something outside. I would say ‘environment’ is a ‘local’ issue as far as the printing industry is concerned and it is an ‘inside’ issue rather than something outside.

14 Nov 2014 | By Shripad Bhat

And the printing industry in India cannot escape from the responsibility of ‘protecting environment’. I have personally visited over 500 screen printing / offset / digital printing companies.

Since industrial / graphics printing calls for stringent quality, majority of the small, medium and big screen printing companies have systematic and environmental compliant production facilities. Many of them are ISO certified.

However, in the commercial / packaging and garment / textile printing sector, the production facilities are in shambles. Shockingly the very ‘work environment’ is quite bad. The production floors, raw material storage system, the work method, the waste disposal system, et al are quite questionable. However, some of the companies do have environment compliance production facilities in the garment printing sector as well.

Fespa re-launches Planet Friendly Guide for screen and digital printing sector
Globally, a need was felt by Fespa to make the best techniques available that give proven practical solutions which can also generate financial savings.

Fespa, the premier international body of screen printing associations, has re-launched its Planet Friendly Guide meant for screen and digital printers in a new format consisting of a series of mini guides.

Originally published in 2007 as a single document, the Fespa Planet Friendly Guide has now been reconfigured as one introductory guide and 10 subject-specific guides.

10 subject-specific guides

Pollution for screen printers
Pollution for digital printers
Hazardous substances for screen printers
Emissions to water for screen printers
Emissions to air for screen and digital printers
Waste for screen printers
Waste for digital printers
Paper and other substrates for screen and digital printers
Environmental management techniques for screen printers
Energy for screen and digital printers

The Planet Friendly Guides form a part of Fespa's wider Planet Friendly programme, which incorporates environmental advice, best practices and case studies into the educational visitor programme at all Fespa’s global events.

According to Fespa official communiqué, the guides would enable printers to find information specific to their own printing processes and business priorities. The Guide aims to provide screen and digital printers with everything they need to know about printing sustainably and assist printers who are planning to undertake any environmental management certification.

The Guides now target separate areas where digital and screen printing can be approached with sustainable measures. Fespa claims that its Guide recognises the need for information specific to a printer’s own print processes and business priorities making it easier for printers to access the information that matters to them.

The mini Guides are based on Fespa's Planet Friendly Guide which has been used as the print industry’s reference on this subject since it was created in January 2012. 

The Planet Friendly Guide has been developed under the guidance of Michel Caza; past-president and one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Fespa in 1962 and a board member since 1990, and Paul Machin, a chemist and lawyer.

Fespa says that its member associations and their print company members can use and translate the Guides and the images used in them at zero cost. For further details log on to

The guides are available free to members of Fespa’s 37 national associations including Screen Printers Association of India (SPAI), based in Mumbai (email:

According to me, there should be some active and independent agency to monitor environment and safety measures in the printing industry. Small or big, there should be no excuses, every printing company should be made to follow all environment protection measures.