Brand owners are being offered a new translucent paper-based wrapping solution – that can be used in direct mail campaigns as well as by magazine and catalogue publishers – which it is claimed is just as strong as polywrap but assuages consumer concerns about the environmental impact of single use plastics.
The move follows fears raised by Decision Marketing that the DM industry is not doing enough to tackle the use of plastics in direct mail campaigns, from polywrapping and plastic postcards to laminated mailshots and coated papers.
The DMA even admitted it was too busy helping companies comply with new data legislation to act; bosses conceded that the issue is not even on its agenda.
But now YM Group – which includes the Lettershop Group, York Mailing, Pindar, YM Chantry and Go Direct Marketing – is aiming to address the matter head-on. Its clients include Marks & Spencer, The White Company, Hillarys and Go Outdoors.
The company has been testing the new paper for months to ensure it is robust enough to go through its print presses, and the post, and has carried out trials with Royal Mail over barcode readability. The product is also claimed to be compatible with Mailmark, the Royal Mail scheme which offers clients huge discounts and makes direct mail more accountable.
YM Group client services director Lance Hill – who joined from Royal Mail last year – told PrintWeek that the company has been been doing paper-wrapped direct mail products for years but added: “The big difference is being able to do it using a lightweight paper, whereas previously it was a heavier paper that doesn’t lend itself to bulkier products.”
Lettershop managing director Simon Cooper said that although a paper wrap was more expensive than polywrap, it was important to look at the overall project cost.
“With paper wrapping we can offer a full Mailmark product,” he explained. “You can’t look at it in isolation. If you get the specification right it can be cost-neutral when you factor in the postage and sustainability discounts.”
“Magazine publishers have got massive issues because people don’t want to see things in plastic. We’re also looking at the potential to produce in-store magazine bundles using translucent paper instead of plastic.”
The firm has two live jobs booked in for next month including a major brand that has a regular publication, and a project for a big supermarket chain. A large number of customers want to test the process, YM Group claims.
The BBC has been at the forefront of the fight against the so-called “Plastic Tide” following the airing of the final episode of Blue Planet II, which saw 62% of surveyed UK audiences say they wanted to make changes in their daily lives to reduce pollution of our oceans.
Direct mailing firm blames Blue Planet II for collapse
BBC ‘Plastics Watch’ ramps up campaign against waste
Blueberry Wave backs fight against mail plastic waste
Industry risks backlash over direct mail plastic waste