Middleton Group Inc. is committed to doing business in the most environmentally positive way.
Inks used to be all solvent-based. These inks were air-dried and released V.O.C’s into the air when drying them. Now, our entire shop runs U.V. curable inks, which reduces the release of V.O.C.’s by nearly 100% compared to solvent inks.
We are committed to the sourcing and testing of biodegradable and environmentally friendly substrates. Nearly all substrates we use can be recycled. We currently recycle all paper, corrugated, and plastics. Nothing is put in the trash that can be recycled, thus reducing garbage that lays in landfill sites. We also run a blue box program throughout our offices, lunchrooms, and shops, in order to recycle all office paper, bottles, and cans that are used in these areas.
Screen making and reclaiming have been the biggest environmental challenge for screen printers over the last decade. We at Middleton Group have invested a lot of time, effort, and money in order to make this area of our business as environmentally friendly as possible.
With screen making, we used to create full-size film in order to make a screen. This created a lot of film that needed to be disposed of, and also produced silver in the process of making film. We have since made two giant steps to remove all film from our shop. First, we purchased a machine that was able to project small pieces of film onto large screens up to 800% bigger than the original piece of film thus reducing the amount of film produced considerably. The next step we took, was to purchase a direct-to-screen unit, which eliminated film completely. We simply run a file to a computer, that makes a screen without any film whatsoever.
Screen reclaiming has come a long way over the last 10 years. Screens used to be reclaimed by hand. Chemicals were applied by hand and washed by hand which had a negative impact on the environment due to chemicals going down the drain. We have since revamped our entire process, to include the use of handheld applicators, and re-circulation tanks to avoid any chemical waste. This was just the initial step for Middleton Group. We then researched and purchased an automatic screen reclaiming unit which has eliminated all chemicals from going down the drain. We recycle and reuse up to 70% of the chemicals we use, with the use of sedimentation tanks. The solid waste that is produced is then taken away and disposed of properly through the Ministry of the Environment. This has also eliminated any exposure whatsoever to our employees, making us one of the most environmentally friendly shops around.
Energy Conservation and Emissions
Over the years, our presses have become much more efficient with regards to power consumption. All presses, lighting, monitors, and other electronics are Energy Star rated. Middleton Group’s extensive in-house production capabilities also mean that fuel emissions associated with transportation are limited. At Middleton Group, we are always looking for ways to reduce our consumption of energy and lower our emissions.
The team at Middleton Group is constantly reviewing ways to minimize any negative environmental impact and to promote initiatives that are environmentally positive.