Grafische Groep Matthys


Cold foil printing is the perfect compromise between standing out and attention to recycling

Attention to sustainability and recycling

Grafische Groep Matthys wants to be transparent about the application of cold foil printing on paper and cardboard.

Is applying cold foil printing – for folding carton packaging, for instance – a sustainable choice?

Yes and No.

No, because the most sustainable choice is packaging that is not produced. Actually, we need to look one step earlier in the process and ask ourselves whether we need to produce the product around which we are designing a box. And if we want to offer the product anyway, and need packaging, then unprinted packaging – without the addition of ink, varnish, foil printing, etc. – is more sustainable. But products are offered to be sold … And a product that is not sold and eventually has to be removed from the shelf is even less sustainable. That is a waste of energy and raw materials.

It remains a tricky thinking exercise where you have to balance a lot of information as both producer and consumer.

Yes, because if you really want to offer and sell a product and you want to use packaging that “appeals”, that stands out, that matches the experience of your brand, your product, then cold foil printing is probably one of the most sustainable additions to paper and cardboard. Sustainable because the glue ink and aluminium particles do not contain any plastic and because consumers can confidently entrust your folding carton packaging to the excellent recycling stream of old paper and cardboard after use.

And, of course, we don’t claim this lightly. It has been independently tested, in a professional lab environment.

Even a fully foodsafe process is perfectly possible. We are BRCGS certified for secondary packaging.

Grafische Groep Matthys produces your printed matter exclusively with green electricity including from our own solar panels on the roof of the print factory.

Recycling of cold foil printing

Printed matter and packaging using the cold foil printing technique are perfectly recyclable.
We had the recyclability tested in a specialized lab. This showed that all variants that we tested fiberized very easily, the applied glue ink, dispersion varnish and aluminum particles were perfectly removed by the recycling process (floating technique) as is the case with classic printing. They also proved not to be a disturbing factor during the production of a new sheet of paper.