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New Recycling Accreditation for the Print Sector

Reconomy and the UK printing association, FESPA UK, have launched a new accreditation mark for companies participating in their sustainable waste management scheme for the print sector.


Many printers find it hard to get reliable high quality waste management services, due to the types of waste they produce, relatively small volumes or contaminants. FESPA UK and Reconomy have been collaborating for some time with the aim of building a network of printers and suppliers that will enable more sustainable processing options for printed materials - such as point of sale, advertising, exhibition and display waste.

The scheme, which was set up earlier this year, has been developing recycling solutions for several difficult to recycle waste streams including PVC and Polyester banner material, self-adhesive vinyl’s, siliconized backing papers and rigid polypropylenes. Materials can come direct from printers such as offcuts and scrap, from suppliers who may collect and bale the waste or direct from the end user. The scheme is now starting to have a significant impact with one UK supermarket chain being able to recycle an estimated 346 tonnes of used banner waste – equivalent to 2,175 1100 litre wheelie bins.


As the interest in the scheme increased it seemed natural to give it a visual identity. The new logo will be provided to all printers and suppliers who are currently part of the project, helping them demonstrated that they are taking action to become more responsible with their waste. It is hoped this will continue to raise awareness and help to extend the network of sustainable service providers.


Suzi of FESPA UK said “By providing a visual representation for the companies involved in the scheme we can show they are being responsible for the waste they produce or manage. We hope to make the conversation about the cost of waste management easier, and hopefully we will start to encourage more sustainable waste management across the sector. So many printers display awards or ISO certifications on their website and email footers, well now they will be able to show that they are making real lasting changes to the way the sector’s waste is managed and that will have a positive impact on their business and the environment.”

Jon of Reconomy commented. “Our mission is to develop a national infrastructure of solutions that enables all graphics media, no matter the volume, from only being collected and treated as wastes to being readily recyclable. This is a huge goal, and a journey that requires collective action throughout the industry to make it happen. And it may be a 5-year journey, to create a truly sustainable situation that has been embraced by the industry, where pre and post-consumer graphics waste producers choose recycling as the preferred treatment route.”