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Planet positive printing with Printing Services

Gold sustainability award 2019 Printing services

With plastic being a hot topic in the news, the Printing Services team attempted to find an eco-friendly alternative to plastic binders covers for their 2019 Gold Award.

The Printing Services team have always been advocates of sustainability whilst still providing a cost-effective service to University departments, students and external customers.

After coming up with a list of items they used that contained plastic, the team had a conversation about how they could reduce plastic use in their homes lives and also use more sustainable materials at work. They identified that a large proportion of their plastic usage came from plastic binder covers, used primarily to bind student dissertations, with over 21,000 of these used each year!

Eco-friendly innovations

The team decided to contact their supplier to enquire about sourcing plastic binders that were more sustainable and easier to recycle. Fortunately, a new product that met the team’s requirements was just becoming available.

The new binder covers are much better for the environment:

  • They are made of cellulose diacetate film which is 80% from a renewable source: PEFC certified wood pulp and 20% bio-based plasticisers such as corn starch and soyabean oil.
  • The covers are compostable, made with materials that biodegrade into nutrient-rich compost in specific environmental conditions.
  • 100% plastic-free, 100% recyclable on its own or with paper, made from 100% renewable sources and bio-based additives, produces no toxic by-products when incinerated, no GMO content, ISO certified.

Sharing the good news

The covers are being rolled out over the next few months, with customers being made aware of them soon. In addition to this, the Printing Services team have put information on their website on how to recycle the new covers.

Finally, the team will be sharing their new discovery with other University Print Services around the UK to share the sustainability best practice.

Find out more about the Sustainability Awards

Find out how you can reduce your waste at the University

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