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Going green needn’t cost the earth

Going green needn’t cost the earth

With an increasing focus on their environmental footprint, retailers face real pressure to ensure they meet industry targets, without impacting on their own business models. Here Chris Green, Head of Channel for Visual Communications at Antalis, highlights the requirements facing retailers and how recyclable visual communications media can assist in improving environmental performance and reducing costs.

In 2008, retailers in the UK agreed voluntary targets for reducing waste as part of the ‘A Better Retailing Climate’ (ABRC) initiative. These collective environmental impact targets included the ambitious goal of sending less than one percent of their waste direct to landfill by 2020.

So far, the response from retailers has been incredible with the proportion of waste sent to landfill decreasing from 43 percent in 2005, to just four percent in 2016, demonstrating that the 2020 target is more than achievable.

This reduction in waste is not only good from an ecological point of view;when a company achieves its environmental goals, it can deliver a positive economic impact for businesses as well, as every tonne sent to landfill costs retailers on average £120 in tax and gate fees.


Chris Green of Antalis

For retailers, there is a specific waste reduction challenge due to the fast moving, cyclical nature of the business. It’s inevitable that signs and displays are going to change frequently, which results in a considerable amount of visual communications materials being created each year. Taking into account the volume of materials required, this inherent part of the retail environment creates a significant level of waste, which can come at a cost.

Through careful selection of the right product, which delivers the correct properties for application, such as printability, dimensional stability, recyclability and sustainability, retailers can negate the costly charges of waste and, in some instances, even create a revenue stream.

At Antalis, we recognise that we have an important role to play, both in running our business in a responsible way, and providing products, services and information that help our customers to become more sustainable. This has resulted in us investing in a number of product ranges that help our customers meet their environmental requirements, specifically those with high volume visual communication needs.


Priplak, for instance, is ideal for retailers who have a high turnover of signage. Astrong yet flexible plastic polypropylene sheet, Priplak offers high performance while being environmentally sound – it is a constructed from a plastic free from halogens, chlorine and plastifiers, such as phthalates. Further, adding to its green credentials, it can also be recycled many times without any significant change in its physical properties, plus the fact that the Priplak R100 range is actually made from 100 percent recycled post-industrial polypropylene. What’s also great about it is the fact that, once finished, it can be recycled, or burnt or added to landfill, without any risk of toxic substances harming the environment or people’s health.

Another display material product retailers can use to reduce visual communications waste and cost is DISPA; a sign and display board perfect for short-term, in-door displays, which offers an ideal ecological position.  A 100 percent cellulose fibre product, DISPA is made by 3A composites with unique embossed internal layers that ensure maximum stability and flatness while also being 100 percent recyclable FSC-certified paper. Its smooth, bright-white printable surface is a robust alternative to plastic products, enabling retailers to maximise both the environmental and financial benefits of recycling.

The nature of the industry in which retailers operate ensures that there will always be a level of waste, and while the ABRC initiative continues to deliver success, we still have a role to play in improving our environmental impact. By switching to ecologically friendly, recyclable products, retailers can decrease their sign and display landfill waste, saving both money and the environment, and putting the industry in the right place to meet the 2020 target.

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