Materials30 July 2021

Manchester printers invited to take part in free project to improve sustainability in the print industry

Big Signs, Little Impact: Improving sustainability for wide format printing 

Printed branding and signage materials are essential marketing tools for businesses looking to raise brand awareness at events and exhibitions. However, reducing their environmental impact has proven to be challenging and is often the responsibility of printers to provide sustainable solutions.   

Many of the standard materials traditionally used in wide format printing such as inks, substrates, and installation adhesives are far from sustainable or environmentally friendly. Exhibition banners and signs are a significant source of single-use plastics from events and are regularly landfilled or incinerated.  

Greater Manchester has a thriving community of local printers, many of whom provide large print media for festivals, events, exhibitions and businesses in the region and there has been increasing demand for more sustainable printing substrates and processes within the sector.  

The SMI Hub is an enterprise support programme that helps small businesses across Greater Manchester to create sustainable solutions for plastics use and waste management. We are launching a free project to bring together a group of local printers specialising in wide format media to address the need for more sustainable printing substrates, packaging and end-of-life solutions.    

Understanding how to better embed sustainability within your business and what happens to your products at end-of-life can be a real challenge. However, our Big Signs, Little Impact  project will offer you a fantastic opportunity to innovate, connect with your increasingly environmentally conscious customers, and build a more robust reputation and sustainable business.   

This is a unique opportunity to engage and learn from sustainability and materials experts who are keen to support an innovative printing community reduce its impact on the environment and increase its reputation nationally.  

What to expect:  

  • An understanding of packaging materials and the materials used in the printing process and their impacts on the environment.  
  • Identification of possible, more sustainable, alternative materials for printing and packaging.  
  • Virtual workshops with materials experts and other printers to share sustainability tips.  
  • Identification of quick-wins and long terms opportunities to make your business more sustainable.   

Free support requires businesses to:  

  • Register for support via the SMI Hub 
  • Join us for 2 x 2hr virtual workshops  
  • Share information (in confidence) about your printing materials and processes 
To register your interest and take part in the free ‘Big signs, Little impact’ project complete our SME enquiry form or contact 

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