REI Co-Op has collaborated with Quad/Graphics and WS Packaging Group to create a new solution to the problem of film backing left on the catalogs, limiting the recyclability of the entire direct mail catalog.
Previously, industry-standard film-backed clean-release cards, applied to the outside cover of direct mail catalogs, created millions of pieces of landfill waste every year. With the creation of the first 100 percent recyclable clean-release card – the WS Packaging Eco Card – the entire catalog now is recyclable.
WS Packaging Group senior account executive AJ Buran said: "At WS Packaging we're committed to contributing to the sustainable efforts within our industry.
"The Eco Cards are one more way we can help provide a powerful and immediate solution to conserve landfill space."
The Eco Cards are produced at one of WS Packaging Group's facilities, using a paper-on-paper, two-ply construction, eliminating the film base ply.
"This construction makes the card 100 percent recyclable. It also provides an extra panel underneath the card on which an additional message or graphic can be printed," said Buran. "This is possible because the paper construction, rather than the clear film used in traditional card construction, provides more flexibility for printing copy."
Quad/Graphics prints and mails the catalogs for REI and partnered with WS Packaging to develop the new Eco Card. REI produced a limited catalog run with the new Eco Cards this fall and plans to incorporate the card on all its catalogs beginning in spring 2018.