GCA Readies To Launch Environmental Guidance For The Industry

“We are now only a matter of weeks away from being able to share full advice with our card publisher members and associate retailer and supplier members on environmental matters in relation to greeting cards,” revealed Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA about the imminent launch of its ‘Into A Greener Future’.

GCA logo“The industry has strong environmental credentials, but there is always room for improvement and greater clarity for the consumer,” added Sharon.

As a result of lengthy dialogue with WRAP and its Recycle Now campaign (by both Sharon and several key council members, notably Ceri Stirland of UKG and Paul Woodmansterne of Woodmansterne), plus input from suppliers, the association is in a much better position to provide clear guidance on labelling as well as the pros and cons of different wrapping methods.

Woodmansterne has instigated a new ‘Recycle Me’ logo working with Recycle Now.
Woodmansterne has instigated a new ‘Recycle Me’ logo working with Recycle Now.

The advice, which will go live on the GCA website in the coming weeks will include a downloadable ‘Recycle me’ logo as instigated by Woodmansterne Publications (and accepted by the Recycle Now national recycling campaign) as a more friendly option for the backs of greeting cards. The guidance will also include a ‘table checklist’ that will allow publishers and retailers to consider the various environmental merits and costs of using different methods of wrapping cards.

The GCA’s ceo Sharon Little (left) with council member, Sarah-Jane Porter of Moonpig at the recent Henries judging.
The GCA’s ceo Sharon Little (left) with council member, Sarah-Jane Porter of Moonpig at the recent Henries judging.

The new guidance will include information on plastic recycling and the appropriate use of logos.

The new guidance will build on the ‘Remove, Reduce, Replace,’ mantra that Ceri Stirland, current president of the GCA and customer and channel director of UK Greetings believes should be the industry’s stance. Elaborating, Ceri explained how the industry should seek to “REMOVE completely any avoidable waste ie. cello bagging if possible. REDUCE if you can’t completely remove then reduce ie. maybe only use cello bagging on delicate cards/with attachments as protection and remove from seasons completely” with the third strand “REPLACE covering adopting a more environmentally-friendly option, be it moving to a different substrate or method of affixing the card to the envelope.”

Wrap is keen to encourage the greeting card industry to work towards a more circular economy.
Wrap is keen to encourage the greeting card industry to work towards a more circular economy.

As Sharon pointed out, it is a very complicated arena with more information coming to light on a daily basis.

“Any guidance is always going to be work in progress as new innovations are developed. I value the ongoing input from members (notably Sue Morrish of Glebe Cottage) and our supplier associates as our research progresses,” she added.

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