Committee proposes ‘print free’ scheme for Flintshire Council

PLANS to reduce emissions by cutting down a local authority’s printing are to be put to senior councillors.

Flintshire Council’s climate change committee is to meet on Wednesday afternoon.

On the agenda is a discussion for a “print-free council.”

A report to the committee explains: “Paper and print products account for around one per cent of all carbon emissions.

“Over 65 million printer cartridges are sold each year in the UK alone. 

“Of these 65 million cartridges, only an estimated 15 per cent are recycled or reused – all while an estimated half of all pages printed are never even looked at.”

It adds that toner waste is one of the major electronic waste materials posing serious environmental threat and health hazards. 

Globally, only about 20 to 30 per cent of toner waste is recycled, the document explains, while the remaining percentage is dumped in landfills.

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The committee is to recommend to Flintshire Council’s Cabinet that a policy be implemented across all departments setting out that printing should only be considered in the certain circumstances.

These include where:

  • There is a statutory requirement to provide information in printed form;
  • A disabled staff member or service user requires material in printed form because they are disabled;
  • A staff member or service user requires material in printed form because they are digitally excluded;
  • The relevant chief officer has directed that a paper backup of the document is necessary for service resilience, or;
  • For the purposes of advertising a service or change in service to the general public.

The committee also recommends that the policy should state all paper, toners, inks and consumables procured will be made of recycled materials and recycled after use.


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