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Eco-friendly Banners: Is it Time to Replace Vinyl?

Written By Bobby Firestein

May 25, 2023

Vinyl banners are a popular choice for everything from outdoor event signage to retractable banner stands. Vinyl is durable, easy to print and assemble, and it weathers the elements. But while vinyl has plenty of positives, sustainability isn’t one of them.  

Vinyl banners aren’t great for the environment because they’re made of plastic and aren’t always properly disposed of. Vinyl is not biodegradable, so it can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. In the meantime, it contributes to litter and pollution. In addition to the environmental impact of vinyl itself, the production process for these banners can be energy-intensive and generate greenhouse gas emissions. No bueno.

We can all lessen the environmental impact of vinyl banners by disposing of them responsibly and recycling them where possible. Many communities have recycling programs for vinyl and other types of plastic, so be sure to check with your local authorities to see if this option is available in your area. Additionally, some companies offer recycling programs for their own products, so it may be worth checking with the manufacturer or supplier of the vinyl banner to see if they have such a program in place. For More Vang clients in the Washington, DC area, we are in the process of starting our own recycling program that will launch in late summer, so stay tuned for more to come.

We are also taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of these types of banners by offering eco-friendly alternatives and using sustainable production methods. Here are some of the more popular alternatives to vinyl banners.

  1. Paper banners are made from recyclable paper, making them an environmentally friendly option for indoor signage. They are also biodegradable and can be easily recycled.
  2. Fabric banners are made from various types of fabric including polyester, cotton, or recycled materials. They are durable and can be reused multiple times, making them a more sustainable option. While some fabric banners are weather resistant, they’re generally better for indoor signage.
  3. Biodegradable banners are made from materials other than paper that decompose quickly in the environment without causing harm. These materials can include cornstarch, bamboo, or other plant-based materials. There are a variety of options for both indoor and outdoor applications.
  4. Mesh banners are made from a recycled perforated material that allows air to flow through them. This makes them a good option for outdoor use in windy conditions.
  5. Cardboard cutouts are made from recyclable cardboard and can be used as indoor signage or display stands.

When looking at vinyl banner alternatives, pay attention to the intended use, durability, and overall sustainability of the material. Each option has its own benefits and limitations, so choose the right option for your specific needs. 

Beginning in June, we will offer a new line of PVC-free, environmentally friendly banner material called Kavalan

Kavalan is produced using a solvent-free process that reduces the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. It is free from harmful chemicals like PVC, phthalates, and heavy metals, which can be found in other synthetic materials. Compared to traditional banner material like vinyl, Kavalan has a lower carbon footprint and uses less water and energy in the production process. Kavalan is durable enough for repeated outdoor use, so it makes a great environmental alternative to vinyl.  

Stay tuned for more info on this new PVC-free banner material as we start rolling it out!