Here are some thoughts on the subject of colored paper:
My degree is Environmental Science with a minor in Forestry. When I was in
college, I visited a large paper mill and observed the paper dying process.
The mill showed the vats used to dye the paper and then showed the water
after treatment to extract the excess dye and other chemicals. I was amazed
at the clarity of the water. I would have to say that at least the larger
mills do a terrific job of ensuring impact to the environment is minimized.
I can't speak for all printers so you have to draw your own conclusions as
to how environmentally friendly printing operations are.
Printing Industries Association of Texas
>Very interesting question! The answer may depend on the type of ink
> and paper. My gut feeling is that to coat white paper it
> would be best, from an environmental point of view, to use
> UV curable or maybe water-based inks (on a modern press).
> But to compare colored paper with printing color on paper
> seems like its an apples and oranges comparison. We'd need
> to compare the impacts of using the inks with the impacts of
> dying paper at the mill. I wouldn't be surprised if very
> similar chemicals are involved but that the processes and
> environmental impacts are different. It would be
> interesting if somebody has done a life-cycle type of
> comparison of these two options. Determining Great Printer
> practices is not easy.
> Gary Miller
> One East Hazelwood Drive
> Champaign, IL 61820
> Phone: 217/333-8942
> Fax: 217/333-8944