Exploring Eco-friendly Thermal Printing Alternatives: Key Considerations and Sustainability Factors

In today’s era of heightened environmental consciousness, industries worldwide are striving to embrace sustainable printing practices throughout their entire operations. Thermal label printing, a technology ubiquitous in various sectors ranging from retail to logistics, is no exception. Traditionally, thermal printing processes have been associated with significant environmental drawbacks, including reliance on non-renewable resources and a generation of substantial waste. However, a growing awareness of these issues have sparked a drive for eco-friendly alternatives to minimise ecological impact without compromising on efficiency or quality.

Key Considerations

  1. Material Selection: Thermal papers can be made from a variety of chemicals and materials. Choosing papers and labels crafted from sustainable materials ensures a minimal environmental footprint.
  2. Energy Efficiency: Investing in energy-efficient thermal printers equipped with advanced technology can significantly reduce power consumption and carbon emission. Energy efficient printers can be identified as carrying the Energy Start Certification. Many printers now also offer paper saving options which reduce the size of receipt and labels.
  3. Recyclability and Biodegradability: Prioritising media products that are easily recyclable or biodegradable promotes clarify within the thermal printing ecosystem.

Sustainability Factors

  1. Waste Reduction Strategies: Implementing strategies to minimise waste generation through the printing process, such as eco-media and print on demand, help reduce environmental waste and diverts additional waste going to landfill.
  2. Life Cycle Assessment: Conducting comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCAs) aid in quantifying environmental impacts associated with thermal printing. Analysing factures such a power consumption and waste generation can now be done with some modern thermal printers plus software add-ons to assist with the analysis and ongoing maintenance of printing machines.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: Staying informed of regulatory framework pertaining to thermal printing materials and practices ensures compliance with ongoing environmental directives.

BIXOLON’s Next Generation in Sustainable Thermal Printing

Linerless Label Printing

Linerless printers print on linerless labels that are essentially thermal labels without backing paper. Each roll provides around 40% more paper length compared to traditional label paper, extending its usage and reducing the carbon emissions associated with both shipping and storage. Each label can be cut to length on demand, resulting in an optimal use of label rolls, with minimal waste. While offering semi-permanent or permanent sticking adhesive depending on the application. Available for a range of BIXOLON printers including the XM7 series and SPP-R200plusIII mobile printers, SRP-S300 and SRP-S200 POS printers, plus the XL5-40 desktop label printer.

Blue Receipt Printing

BIXOLON’s latest POS thermal printing innovations enable printing on blue receipting paper by using enhanced near end and paper end mechanical sensors for blue paper printing Available for the BIXOLON SRP-350plusV and SRP-380 next generation POS printers, blue paper uses a mechanical rather than chemical reaction to create prints. This innovation not only makes the paper recyclable but also certifies it to be used directly with food products, providing an additional benefit to both the hospitality industry and retailers selling loose foods.


Transitioning towards sustainable thermal printing practices requires a concerted effort across various fronts. By prioritising renewable materials, energy-efficient technologies and waste reduction strategies businesses can pave the way for a greener future in thermal printing. Embracing these changes not only minimises environmental impact but also fosters innovation and responsible stewardship of resources.

For more information on BIXOLON sustainable printing efforts visit www.BIXOLONEU.com or speak to your local BIXOLON sales representative.

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