Although we live in a digital age business needs to send written communication from time to time. This is unavoidable and at all times to maintain professionalism, printed letterheads on good quality paper should be used. When sourcing your envelopes for business purposes, it is best practice to use envelopes from Bestbuyenvelopes and other reputable retailers.
Coupled with this is the rise of e-commerce where goods are often sent in envelopes of some kind. Currently, the UK recycles 80% of its paper.
Envelopes, on the other hand, can be made from recycled material and in this day and age reused at least to some degree without forfeiting professionalism. If you want to project an eco-friendly image, here are ways you can do that with your envelope choices.
Envelopes can be purchased that are made from discarded paper. They are normally around greeting card size and project an image of corporate social responsibility. Many businesses use these for promotions and invitations.
Depending on your business, you may be able to reuse envelopes. If you’re projecting an image of professionalism, say posting goods to a customer in a jiffy bag then this option is not advised. If, however you are sending goods from one branch to another, you can glue blank paper over the address, write the new address over the top, pop on a stamp and you’re done.
It would be best if you used this option with care so you maintain professionalism. A good envelope will survive several journeys before it needs to be replaced.
Can Envelopes be Recycled?
In the main, most conventional envelopes can be recycled by paper mills with little fuss. That said, where mixed materials are concerned, it gets little a bit trickier.
Up until recently, paper mills were not capable of separating the plastic window in a business envelope and paper. As such, to recycle these envelopes, you had to remove the plastic by hand. Only then could you put the envelope into a recycling bin.
Some modern paper mills can separate the plastic from the paper. The plastic still can’t be recycled but the paper can. It also means that the end-user does not have to remove the plastic by hand which is often tedious.
Bubble Padded Envelopes
As they are comprised of mixed materials, bubble padded envelopes cannot be recycled. The only way to put these envelopes into the recycle bin is to remove the bubble material by hand. Instead, it is advisable to reuse these envelopes where possible.
Not all padded envelopes use bubble wrap as padding, but instead, they use paper fibre to offer some protection to the goods inside. Generally they are used when the goods to be shipped are not too delicate.
As they are comprised of paper fibres, they can be recycled easily and also are sturdy enough for reuse.
General Rules About Recycling Envelopes
Most envelopes can be recycled as long as they are not made from mixed materials. The exception to this are business envelops where mills are sophisticated enough to separate the plastic from the paper.
Envelopes that feature glue can often be recycled as the glue is made from bioorganic material. Plastic mailing bags can often be recycled. The exception here is if there is an extra material such as a paper label is added. If this is the case, the mixed material element will prevent them from being recycled.
It is interesting to note that most recycled envelopes make new envelopes. From a recycled perspective, it is better to reuse rather than recycle, as not all the paper can be recycled during the process.
Tips for Marketing your Green Credentials
As part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) it is a good idea to use recycled materials throughout your business. This can be used as a marketing benefit. Clients can point to the fact that they only use reputable suppliers with a comprehensive commitment to CSR, while customers will feel good knowing that what they are buying as come from recycled sources.
With this in mind, consider the following:
- In all your marketing point out that you recycle and reuse as much as possible.
- If a product is made entirely from recycled materials, ensure this is highlighted as a benefit.
- Ensure your environmental policies are up to date showing where you use recycled products and or materials. This scores points on audits and assessments. This is already a requirement for most businesses in Europe and regulation is only set to tighten.
- Take a big-picture view to recycling and apply it to all aspects of your business. The more recycled products you use, the better the image you can project to clients and customers.
- Remember that in this day and age green credentials sell. Ensure your green credentials are well publicised.
Envelopes are very much needed for every type of business. Use a reputable supplier and recycle and reuse as much as you can.