THE FULL STORY

Sustainable sales promotion

April 22nd celebrates this year's Earth Day, an annual event that demonstrates support for environmental protection and sustainability.

I think we can all agree that our planet is an amazing place, but it does need our help and responsibility to thrive. However, when you are trying to grow your business it may seem difficult to do so in a sustainable fashion. There are, of course, lots of actions we can all do, and at Full Square we are committed to helping you find sustainable solutions for your promotional needs.

Whether you are looking for print, packaging, corporate clothing or promotional gifts there are now many different environmentally conscious and ethically sourced products.

Print
Print continues to be an important vehicle for marketing, advertising, education, entertainment and presenting information. In Europe, 72% of paper consumption was recycled in 2019, making it one of the most recycled of all materials.
(Source twosides)

Cellulose fibre is the primary raw material for making paper. Of the fibre used by the European pulp and paper industry, 45% comes from virgin wood fibre and 55% from recycled paper.
(Source cepi) Cellulose fibre can be obtained from almost any plant and some non-wood fibre, however, wood is the preferred source of cellulose fibre for paper production because of its renewable and recyclable nature, technical properties, relatively low cost, and year-round availability.

Sustainably managed forests, from which the virgin wood fibre originates, provide buffers for protected areas and help to protect vulnerable forests from illegal logging, encroachment or conversion to farmland. There are robust traceability systems in place to verify that it comes from well-managed forests, which can support biodiversity and help to tackle climate change.

Using a mixture of new and recycled fibres makes the paper production process a sustainable cycle. Recycled fibres are used as effectively as possible, while new fibres are constantly brought in to replenish and maintain the process.

At Full Square we will help you select the best choice of sustainable paper for your print job. If you are interested in learning more about the paper manufacturing process then check out the
twosides website - it offers a great insight into myths and facts around paper production.


Packaging
Packaging is an important part of your company's branding, and your products overall look and feel. For packaging, the recycling rate is even higher, with 85% of paper and cardboard packaging being recycled in Europe. However, packaging is still one of the biggest sources of environmental waste.
(Source twosides)

There are now many high quality, cost-effective and stylish eco-packaging solutions available that can be either biodegradable, compostable or recycled -
even replanted. Producing the correct packaging solution for your products is highly important, you want your product to be safe and secure, whilst also presenting the correct branding and being environmentally conscious. Remember, from the consumer's point of view, packaging is one of the most visible forms of waste that your brand will make.

We can help find the best solution to your packaging requirements and can advise across our range of printable materials.


Promotion
Full Square offers a range of promotional items that are manufactured from sustainable materials which help minimise the impact on the environment and our natural resources. This growing range of merchandising solutions are made of natural, ethical, recycled or renewable materials.

Recycled materials
Many of our promotional products are manufactured from recycled materials, these materials include paper, cardboard and recycled plastics such as RPET (recycled polyethene terephthalate).

PET is the most common type of plastic, mostly used for packaging and disposable bottles/containers. A large part of the solid waste in the world is attributed to this packaging. Recycled PET is known as RPET, and it is the most widely recycled plastic in the world. The use of recycled PET by giving a new life to an already made product in place of virgin resin results in reduced environmental impact.

Renewable materials
Renewable materials include cork, bamboo and corn PLA (polylactic acid). Cork comes from the bark of the self-regenerating cork oak tree. It is a very durable organic material and is treated in a simple natural way. In general, the cork industry is regarded as one of the most environmentally friendly. Cork is 100% natural and biodegradable.

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants (grass) and it can replenish itself within a year with minimal water need and without the need for fertilisers. Bamboo is a very renewable resource, strong and durable, it is 100% natural and biodegradable.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a natural plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch, usually corn. It is an eco-friendly, renewably sourced and biodegradable alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics.

Ethical fabrics
Ethical fabrics include materials that are manufactured from either eco-friendly fibres or are produced from recovered old or unworn clothes.

Hemp is one of the oldest and most eco-friendly textile fabrics. It is made from fibres of the fast-growing cannabis plant that is grown without the assistance of fertilisers and pesticides. Organic hemp textiles are 100% recyclable.

Organic cotton is naturally grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers or any other chemical. To know for sure that the cotton is indeed organic, manufacturers go through extensive supply chain verification by third parties and only certified cotton can be marketed.

Recycled fabrics are made from waste fabrics. Collected textile solid wastes are reprocessed to fibre and then back to fabrics for further re-production of bags, garments or linen. Manufacturers work with either pre-consumer waste (scrap from production) or post-consumer waste (used textiles collected). Colour segregation is performed during the process to avoid as much as possible the re-dyeing of the fabric.

Promotional items are also produced from reusable materials that are fully recyclable, such as glass. Many of our promotional items are available with a sustainability declaration which offers a full breakdown of material content and technical standards adhered to.

Whilst it may seem challenging to become a more sustainable business it is ultimately better for the planet, it will also help your business become more efficient, improve your brand value and reputation, provide a platform for innovation, help attract and retain staff, achieve better growth, cut costs and strengthen customer relationships. Wow!

Contact us to discuss how we can help you develop a more sustainable sales promotion and marketing approach, and hopefully, we will be celebrating many many more earth days for generations to come.