The evolution of digital printing has made fundamental changes in the printing process. While printing has traditionally been an industrial process, digital printing is a computerized process which, by its very nature, is less demanding of resources and less wasteful than conventional print.
Digital printing has eliminated many stages of traditional printing that were time, energy and resource-consuming, and were also accompanied by liquid and solid waste and fumes (some of which require specialist treatment for disposal). The use of chemistry for film and plate processing is eliminated with digital print, as is the substantial waste of materials used in the 'make ready' stage of offset printing.
Digital printing enables shorter run lengths and turnaround times which leads to less consumption and waste - it is estimated that prior to the advent of digital printing as much as 56% of all print was thrown away unused.