Fespa UK launches print sector recycling accreditation

The Sustainability Partnership's new logo was launched 1 December
The Sustainability Partnership's new logo was launched 1 December

Fespa UK has partnered with waste management service Reconomy to launch an accreditation for companies participating in their sustainable waste management scheme.

The accreditation mark, launched on 1 December, will enable companies participating in the scheme - which helps graphics and signage companies to recycle printed materials - to distinguish themselves from their peers.

Companies in the scheme have been working to develop recycling methods for PVC and Polyester banner material, self-adhesive vinyls, siliconised backing papers and rigid polypropylenes since the scheme’s inception in October 2021.

Fespa UK decided to develop a brand for the scheme after seeing interest grow within the industry. All printers taking part in the scheme will be able to use its logo to show they are taking action to be responsible with their waste.

Suzi Ward, Fespa UK’s managing director, 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.”

One supermarket participating in the scheme has already been able to recycle around 350 tonnes of used banner waste under the scheme; equivalent to 2,180 wheelie bins.

Jon Hutton, sales director at Reconomy, said that the scheme’s ambitious goals would require teamwork from the industry.

“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. 

“It may be a five-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.”

Ward added: “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.”