As the greeting card industry continues to further up its game on the environmental count, greeting card printer Loxleys is this week running trials to offer real alternatives to the current practice of cellowrapped cards.
“The cellowrapping used as the industry norm in the greeting card industry is completely recyclable, but as part of our commitment to the environment, we have been exploring different alternatives to this,” Richard Bacon, managing director of Loxleys (part of the Sherwood Group) told PG Buzz.
A dedicated team has been working both in Loxleys’ Sheffield facilities as well as in the Innovation Hub, based at Sherwood’s Nottingham HQ to come up with different attachment options.
“We are underway with tests using a peelable biodegradable adhesive disk that affixes the card to the envelope to enable both elements to stay together in the rack, but will not damage either component,” reveals Richard.
Another option being investigated is using ‘bands’ of transparent material (rather than bags) that are suitably snug enough to avoid slippage, but not too tight as to cause any creasing to the card nor the envelope.
“Is seems that there is a need for further debate as to why are we putting greeting cards into bags? Is it for protection? Is it for branding? What do consumers really want?” prompts Richard.
This week also sees Loxleys press the button on trials for a new compostable biodegradable film (made from corn starch) that can wrap cards ‘in line’ (ie by machine).
“We have offered pre-made biodegradable bags for years, but this is the first time we have been able to buy in rolls of film made from corn starch, which means we can wrap the cards automatically inline. This week we are running trials for several sizeable publishers to show what their cards will look like and feel. The clarity of the film has vastly improved,” says Richard.
As Richard points out, “The greeting card industry has been on an environmental journey for years, as have we at Loxleys/Sherwood, but there is still plenty more that can be investigated, especially as other industries, such as food and cosmetic sectors, are also making progress on this front.”
Loxleys and Sherwood have just released their joint CSR Statement, which shows how the group has initiated further improvements on the environmental front – including a reduction of their CO2 emissions and total commitment to FSC board.
“Within the next 12 months, our ambition is to be able to offer a wider selection of environmentally-friendly options for all aspects of greeting card production – from simulated gems which is in fact a print process to the ways cards are presented in racks,” assures Richard.
* As part of its commitment to environmental innovation, Sherwood Group is launching its breakthrough PuraCoat range for ‘on the go food’ at this week’s Packaging Innovations show (Wednesday 28 Feb and Thursday 1 March, NEC). This trademarked special coating offers a real alternative to a PE board, which is easily recyclable.