Bottles into bags, stone into paper and coffee cups into, well coffee cups. What is going on?
An ever increasing growth in demand for eco and sustainable products and a drive from the BPMA to promote recycled and reusable materials, is fuelling innovation in branded merchandise, from products to packaging.
In our latest blog, we look at a number of examples and realise that at first glance, things aren’t always quite what they seem.
Recycled plastics are now being used to create a wide variety of new products, so let’s kick off with the Hip rPET bag. Manufactured from three PET plastic bottles, effectively rescuing them from landfill, this bag also keeps your own reusable drinks bottle to hand. And if a hip bag isn’t your style, the same range features laptop and tech tidy bags too.
If you prefer a shopper, the Salvage tote is a firm favourite with the team. This one is made from a combination of plastic bottles and salvaged waste cuttings from organic cotton. Not only is it smart, useful and super soft, it can be printed and dispatched in just 24 hours.
Lanyards are always a popular promotional product, so why not choose one made from rPET ribbon? Featuring a recyclable safety break and clip, these lanyards are also made in the UK, so they are delivered with zero Air Miles.
It’s not just products themselves that are being made from plastic bottles either – what about embroidery thread. One of our suppliers is using a 100% thread made from yes, plastic bottles again, to add your branding to their range of caps with brilliant, shiny coloured stitches.
On to those coffee cups then. The Circular Reusable Coffee Cup is the world’s first reusable cup made from single-use paper cups. Available in two sizes and a range of colours, this sustainable travel mug is 100% leakproof, has a push lid mechanism to minimise spills and provide 360-degree drinking and is designed for 10 years of use. And after that, it’s 100% recyclable.
Another intriguing option for coffee fans, is the A5 Coffee Notebook. The leftover grounds from brewing (coffee grounds are organic and naturally biodegradable) are used to create the cover – and it even smells like coffee. In addition, its 80 sheets of lined paper are 100% recycled meaning no deforestation has taken place in its production.
On the theme of notebooks, what about the A5 Como notebook. Whilst the cover is made from (yep, you guessed it) recycled plastic bottles, the business part is made with silk stone white lined paper, using limestone sourced from quarry waste. As well as being a great sustainable choice, its also manufactured in the UK and the paper is both water and grease resistant.
UK based supplier Sow Easy is also offering an interesting take on a range of sustainable ‘paper’ products. From badges and business cards to coasters, envelopes and wristbands, the recycled, biodegradable paper is embedded with wildflower seeds and can be torn and planted after use. Simply pop it in the ground and wait for it to bloom.
And finally, we couldn’t not mention the arguably all-time staple in the world of branded merchandise, the promotional pen. Whilst bamboo isn’t everyone’s choice, due to its carbon footprint from transportation, there are a number of options available, from cardboard to cans.
The Virtuo pen is made from recycled aluminium cans, whilst the plastic trim comes from recycled water bottles and is available with a range of coloured trims.
Or how about the Ayr Wheat pen. The barrel of this pen is made from card whilst the trim is made of recycled plastic with up to 50% of wheat straw plastic, from a natural and sustainable source. One of the latest environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic, wheat straw is made from a biproduct of wheat production and is already being used in a range of products, such as food containers, drinking straws and reusable coffee cups.
The eco angle doesn’t stop at products, processes or packaging though, and manufacturers, suppliers and distributors are being encouraged to include instructions to help customers reuse and recycle their products.
So, if sustainability is important to you, your team or your customers, whether that’s reusable, recyclable, locally sourced or ethically produced, then get in touch for some innovative, memorable ideas that may well cause your clients to do a double take and keep them guessing.