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Using Eco-Friendly Plastics in Your Direct Mail

Karen Weil

Many of our customers are leaders in building sustainability and social responsibility into their corporate cultures. They measure a wide range of attributes from their overall carbon footprints to more targeted metrics such as choosing environmentally-sustainable components for their direct mail advertising. If this sounds like the approach your company is looking to implement, you should know there are a variety of options to make your marketing efforts more sustainable.

At IWCO Direct, we are helping clients move toward eco-friendly mail practices by increasing the amount of recycled content in their mailpieces while maintaining the quality and printability of the material they’re made of. We are also finding new plastic solutions, such as plastic cards with enhanced biodegradability, that are taking sustainability measures to new heights.

Eco-Friendly Mail Components at IWCO Direct

We previously shared the role of our paper procurement policy in supporting our customers who choose papers from sustainably managed forests and or paper with recycled content. However, paper isn’t the only raw material used to manufacture direct mail. We’ve also been working with our suppliers to find more environmentally-friendly options for the plastic components of a direct mail package.

IWCO Direct offers a range of plastic substrates for printing. IWCO Direct’s rPETG, a recycled version of the polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) commonly found in consumer bottles and containers, is a recycled plastic product with up to 75% recycled content. Because it is recyclable through curbside collection, these cards can carry the recycling symbol #1, which identifies plastics that can be recycled into tote bags, furniture, carpet, fibers and more.

Our STYREX® is a recycled plastic product made up of approximately 30% recycled content. It can carry recycling symbol #6, meaning that cards made up of IWCO Styrex can be recycled to become part of egg cartons, foam packing, insulation, carry out containers and other recycled materials.

Choosing the Right Plastics for Your Campaign

It’s important that marketers rely on their direct mail partners to identify the best substrates for all production applications. It’s also crucial to share sustainability objectives with partners in advance so they can offer the best solutions possible. For example, if you’re looking for eco-friendly plastic card inserts, it helps to know if the goal is to increase the recycled content in the card or to produce a card that can itself be recycled. Not all products can satisfy both.

Quality and availability are also key considerations. The products that contain more easily recycled materials may have more limited print and finishing applications. We conduct extensive testing in all areas of production prior to offering a new product to our customers. This way, we help them identify the best substrate for all production applications. And because lead times for special resins can be longer than standard products, we maintain a stocking program for both rPETG and some PVC products.

Looking Toward a Sustainable Future for Direct Marketing

Regardless of market or application, recycling continues to be a dominant theme in the use of plastics. Our partnership with plastic sheet manufacturer Goex Corporation has allowed us to develop products that meet our clients’ sustainability objectives. The integration of Eco Logic’s Eco-One™ organic additive can further enhance the biodegradability of the products we use.

We continue to see the market trending away from substrates and mailpiece components that are not environmentally-friendly. Get in touch with me or your IWCO Direct sales executive to find out how IWCO Direct can help identify eco-friendly mail solutions that work for you, your customers and the environment.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2016/08/10/eco-friendly-mail-solutions/
Karen Weil

Author

Karen Weil

Director of Procurement and graduate of Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University, Mankato). Bringing the “together we can achieve excellence” philosophy to IWCO Direct for more than 15 years and the direct marketing industry for nearly 35. Favorite award or recognition: Raising three terrific boys. Enjoys photography, reading, and watching Minnesota Wild, Gopher Hockey, and Minnesota Loon games.

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