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Environmental Attributes of 3M™ Envision™ Products

At 3M, we evaluate many facets of the materials we use, allowing us to continuously improve the environmental, health, and safety implications of what we make. So, when 3M develops a new product, we ask several important questions before we begin:

  • How can we reduce the product's impact on the environment?
  • How will we distribute the product?
  • And how will the product ultimately be disposed of?

3M Commercial Graphics is changing the graphics world—again—with the new 3M™ Envision™ line. These new graphic materials from 3M offer leading-edge technology, best-in-class performance and an edge on sustainability.

This information addresses the most common questions we receive from our customers about the meaning of sustainability and 3M products.

3M™ Envision™ Wrap Films

Elimination of Chemicals of Concern

The Problem with Chlorine and Other Halogens

The Concern about Phthalates

Decrease in Solvent Usage

Cast vinyl gets its name from the manufacturing process used to make these films. This process uses solvents, some of which are known to have environmental and health concerns. The new Envision graphic materials are a high-performance non-PVC polymer, not a cast vinyl. During the 3M manufacturing process, we use 60% less solvent making film 480Cv3 and overlaminate 8548G when compared to the same amount of film IJ180Cv3* and overlaminate 8518* produced in the US. By decreasing our solvent usage, we are reducing the exposure to these chemicals by the workers at our manufacturing facility.

*3M™ Controltac™ Graphic Film with Comply™ v3 Adhesive IJ180Cv3-10 and 3M™ Scotchcal™ Gloss Overlaminate 8518

Bio-Based Materials

The 2002 US Farm Bill describes biobased products as commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products, renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials), or forestry materials.

Many chemicals, including plastics, are primarily made from carbon. Although carbon is a very abundant element, graphic films are traditionally based on carbon from fossil fuels, like petroleum. By switching to using bio-based materials, the carbon is from a renewable resource rather than petroleum. Using ASTM D6866, you can date the carbon to determine what percentage of the material is bio-based versus petroleum-based. Both the Envision print wrap films 480Cv3 and overlaminate 8548G, without the product liner, contain 10% or greater bio-based materials by weight, another step forward on our product sustainability journey.