British Tags has always been a leader in its field through a continual desire for improvement and innovation. A quest for knowledge. Our attitude towards our environmental responsibility is no different. So, if reducing your carbon footprint is a goal, then please speak to us and we can guide you through the sustainable packaging options we offer.
The picture around the term ‘environmentally friendly’ is not a clear one. Our role at British Tags is to help you help the planet. We can advise you as to the provenance of both the materials and the ecological transparency of the manufacturing process for. Guiding our customers through the minefield of environmental jargon, false claims and misleading statements that seem to pervade our industry, so that you have all the facts to help you choose the most sustainable solution for your business with our environmentally friendly packaging.
For our satin and taffeta woven labels we can use recycled yarn, if you request it. For bespoke eco-friendly cotton printed labels we can supply using organic cotton, which has a more sustainable provenance than commercially produced raw cotton.
For customised eco-friendly swing tickets and sustainable branded hang tags as well as bespoke environmentally-friendly branded boxes, rope-handled paper carrier bags and pillow packs we can offer you a range of options:
- Recycled card
- First-time use paper sourced from responsibly managed forests
Unlaminated recyclable papers, which makes onward recycling much more efficient.
Is plastic good for our environment?
“The thing that is so galling about plastic pollution, in particular, is that it is so utterly unnecessary. The plastic in our oceans ought never to have got there in the first place.” – David Attenborough
The easy answer to the above is to say ban all plastics. However, this is to negate the other truth about plastic… as a material it helps us to do more with less.
“The conventional HDPE bag had the lowest environmental impacts … in eight of the nine impact categories (even if you only use it once)” – Environmental Agency Life Cycle analysis of carrier bags, 2006
So, how about biodgradable?
We can supply what are termed ‘biodegradable poly bags’ but research by the university of Loughborough on behalf of DEFRA showed “The overall conclusion of this review is that incorporation of additives into petroleum-based plastics that cause those plastics to undergo accelerated degradation does not improve their environmental impact and potentially gives rise to certain negative effects.” (the material does not biodegrade 100% and will still leave micro plastics in the soil.)
So what is the answer? Well at British Tags we do not believe the answer is a simple yes or no to plastic. Plastic is one of the most environmentally friendly materials around and at the same time it is one of the most destructive. The problem arises through how it is managed. Products should be chosen carefully and respectfully, plastic should be used as a way to minimise the use of valuable resources and reduce our impact on the environment. Most of all, plastic should be re-used as much as possible and then at the end of life it should be recycled.
So if you are looking for a good environmental option, perhaps you should talk to us about a recyclable and reusable polythene made from a 50% recycled film (not 100% recycled) which will give the strength it needs to be reused many times over, taking full advantage of this amazing material and then you can create a design to educate on multiple re-use and finally responsible recycling. There is even more work being done in the area of environmentally friendly plastic bags and the use of sugar cane is looking promising. We can discuss these options with you to help your bags become something that really does reduce your business’s environmental impact.
SUSTAINABLE BAGS FOR LIFE
Branded reusable bags come in four types: Jute, Cotton, Canvas and Juco.
Jute eco-friendly bags are made using yarn/twine that is made using the outside of the Jute plant, a plant which loves to grow in temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius, with almost all of the world’s production split between India and Bangladesh. Very similar in appearance to material made from Hemp, Jute has historically been used in the manufacture of sacking and twine, however its sturdy nature has most recently been turned to the manufacture of strong and sturdy bags for life. A quick note on the branding, the thicker yarn that is made from the Jute plant means that normal ink would run straight through the weave of the material like a sieve. To avoid this, the process uses inks that are thick and gloopy. This screen printing process is slower and the final result is a more simple design which should be considered during the design phase of the bag. Jute is not a material if you plan to have detailed designs or complex colours. These bags will continue to retain their sturdy appearance for a long time being re-used again and again by consumers and because they are made from a natural yarn, they are recyclable and will biodegrade if they should ever find themselves thrown way. Please note that if you wish to line this reusable bag with a laminated polythene for strength and waterproof finish, then you will, of course, reduce its environmentally-friendly credentials quite substantially through adding the plastic film.
- COTTON CUSTOM-MADE REUSABLE BAGS are made from a natural product, cotton, and will biodegrade 100%. However, cotton eco bags will not stand up by themselves (imagine expecting a t-shirt to stand vertically!) and you may be tempted to add a laminated plastic lining to give the re-usable bag more shape and resilience. Once this happens the bag stops being biodegradable and is much harder to recycle. If the look of the bag itself is important to you, think about upgrading a little to a heavier gauge cotton or canvas. That way you can avoid adding in the lamination and keep the bag natural and recyclable
- CANVAS sustainable bags are also made from cotton, but are much thicker (think jeans rather than t-shirt). Once again do not add a laminated lining if you wish to retain an eco-friendly bag offering.
- JUCO recyclable bags for life are a mixture of jute and cotton and the look and feel is that of a very heavy-duty canvas material. We can get a much better print definition on JUCO eco bags than on JUTE. Unless your bag needs to have waterproof properties, don’t line it with plastic!
With many coffee bars now offering cheaper drinks if a reusable cup is proffered, your customers will love a customised mug-for-life, made from BPA-free plastic that can be used again and again and again. Please do talk to us about Promotional Bamboo mugs, a fairly new material which is going down a storm.