Immediate makes paper wrap move

Immediate Media is switching two titles to paper wrapping in the latest publishing move away from polywrap.

Subscriber copies of BBC Countryfile and BBC Wildlife magazines will go out in a paper wrap from the June issue onwards.

BBC Countryfile has 37,439 subscribers out of a total circulation of 44,703; while BBC Wildlife has 24,162 subscribers and an ABC of 30,727.

Both titles publish 13 issues a year.

Paper wrapping is being handled by Mailing & Marketing Solutions in Leeds, which announced a major £1m-plus investment in CMC hybrid wrapping lines at the end of last year.

Immediate Media has partnered with green energy supplier Ecotricity as part of the move, with a sponsorship deal involving Ecotricity branding on the wrap and a subscription offer for people who sign up to its gas or electricity services.

The initial sponsorship deal runs for a year. 

“Readers of those magazines are very closely aligned to the profile of our customers,” an Ecotricity spokesman explained.

The wrap design also features an image of the magazine cover.  


Marie Davies, managing director of Specialist titles at Immediate Media, said: “Having explored a number of alternatives to polywrap for some time, we are delighted to be able to introduce a paper-based solution, as a completely recyclable product has always been the preferred option.

“Our new partnership with Ecotricity, means that our Countryfile and Wildlife readers can dispose of the wrapping straight into recycling bins.”

It is the latest move in a trend that has seen a number of publishers ditch traditional polywrap for compostable wrap, paper wrapping, or naked mailing. 

Immediate Media spokeswoman Emma Cooney said the firm was investigating the options for a wider roll-out of paper wrapping on other titles. Immediate's biggest title is flagship weekly Radio Times, which has more than 253,000 subscribers and a total circulation of 580,709.

"At present the number of suppliers offering paper wrap in the UK for the capacity we need is still limited, but we are actively working with our partners on this, whilst taking in to account logistical and feasibility considerations," she said. 

"With a huge range of magazines, with different packaging requirements, it is clear that there isn’t a one-size fits all solution. As such we are trialling several wrap options to evaluate how best to meet our environmental goals and ensure our readers receive their magazines in good condition."

Cooney said that all of Immediate's magazines currently using polwrap used a recyclable plastic wrap, "with a proven existing recycling chain".

"We have made a commitment to no longer use single-use plastic wraps for our titles and ensure our messaging on how to recycle our magazine packaging is clear and prominent for all our readers," she added.