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Research Findings Assure That Cards With A High Foil Content Can Still Be Recycled

Concerned that some card publishers, studios and retailers were under the misapprehension that greeting cards and other products with a sizeable foiled content cannot be re-pulped, foiling experts Foilco commissioned high level testing to provide assurance that this is not the case.

The Foilco team approached the world leading independent testing company, SGS-IPS Testing, a lab that provides testing services for the paper, packaging and disposable consumer products industries to run a set of trials to prove that high percentages of foil coverage does not affect the re-pulpability of a product.

As Jaime Evans, marketing manager of Foilco explained that a 30% foil coverage benchmark has been accepted across most sectors for many years before the stamping foil would start to have an effect on a material’s recyclable properties.

“However, we were becoming more aware that studios, agencies, large brands, and household names were starting to dictate the levels of foils used in creative projects for packaging and graphic applications due to their own misconceptions surrounding accepted industry standards,” said Jaime, with some retailers and brands imposing restrictions of now allowing any more than 5% maximum foil coverage on “greeting cards, labels and packaging under the guise of ‘accepted’ percentages.”

Above: Foilco has long been committed to the environmental concerns and feels that there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding foil.
Above: Foilco has long been committed to the environmental concerns and feels that there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding foil.

Foilco approached SGS-IPS Testing to seek clarification on the matter and the results, Jaime explains “were greater than anticipated”.

This resultant report provides creatives, printers, specifiers and brands with the confidence that even at 80% foil coverage of a product does not affect the re-pulpability of a recyclable substrate and, as such, can be recycled conclusively. The company aims to push the benchmarks even further and will be approaching SGS-IPS Testing again in the not so distant future.

Above: The new testing shows that even if there was to be 80% total foil coverage, which is way more than any card would ever have, the item can still be recycled.
Above: The new testing shows that even if there was to be 80% total foil coverage, which is way more than any card would ever have, the item can still be recycled.

Adding to the company’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade, Foilco has also added to its environmental credentials. It has been recently granted ISO14001: 2015 Achievement. The company is a committed member of Zerofoil2landfill.

Above: Foilco has two downloadable reports on its website covering the environment in a dedicated section. www.foilco.com/environment/
Above: Foilco has two downloadable reports on its website covering the environment in a dedicated section. www.foilco.com/environment/

Top: Foilco’s commissioned testing will provide reassurance and clarity to card publishers and retailers.

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