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The Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising sector needs to find alternatives to PVC used in its banners and billboards. Walki has the solution.

The Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising sector prepares to phase Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic out of its banners and billboards.
“We have known for years that PVC is harmful to the environment, but only recently has the anti-PVC movement really started gaining momentum,” explains Luk Meys, Walki’s Global Category Manager, Imaging.

Around the world, advertising companies are looking for a viable alternative as they prepare for a future ban on PVC. For decades, OOH advertising depended on using either pasted blueback paper panels or heavyweight PVC-based billboards and banners for their products. While these materials offer reliable performance, more sustainable options are needed.

It is widely accepted that PVC poses substantial environmental risks. Its manufacturing process produces chlorine gas, while its disposal also releases dangerous toxins into the environment. The material is not biodegradable and hard to recycle and, as a result, the only disposal options are either incineration or dumping it in landfills. In 2003, Greenpeace named PVC the “most environmentally damaging of all plastics.

Public opinion on environmental issues has shifted dramatically in the last few years, driven by the highly eco-conscious millennial generation.

“Modern consumers want to identify with brands with a strong environmental profile, who are transparent about the materials they use, and how their advertising is done,” he says, adding that millennials in particular are ready and willing to pay more for products that are made, distributed and advertised in a sustainable manner, says Walki’s Luk.

“They are aware of the dangers of PVC and are more likely to spend their money with a company that doesn’t use it in its advertising,” he explains.

Back in 2003, finding a viable alternative to PVC would have been quite a challenge, but, these days, Walki has the solution. Walki Print Media XXL family of products provides sustainable printing and imaging solutions.

Using ultra-light, tear resistant and recyclable raw materials, this ‘green’ print media combines specific base materials and functional polymers. It also weighs less than half as much as traditional PVC products, making transport, storage and handling far less cumbersome. Apart from being PVC-free and pfthalate-free, Walki Print Media XXL is also 100 percent recyclable, halogen-free and REACH-compliant, which means that it complies with EU regulation regarding registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals).

In the near future, the Walki Print Media XXL range will also be rolled out suitable for printing with environmentally sound, water-based latex inks next to the current printability with UV inks. The next generation in the pipeline will also be certified flame retardant, making it suitable for indoor use in public places.

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