Wisconsin companies create more recyclable direct mail packaging

Freeman Staff

Jan. 19, 2018

SUSSEX — Wisconsin-based companies Quad/Graphics and WS Packaging Group have partnered with REI Co-Op to create a solution to the problem of film backing left on catalogs that limits the ability to recycle an entire direct mail catalog.

The common practice for the industry has been to use film-backed clean-release cards, applied to the outside cover of direct mail catalogs, which created millions of pieces of landfill waste every year. Now, another option exists called the WS Packaging Eco Card, a 100 percent recyclable clean-release card.

“At WS Packaging we’re committed to contributing to the sustainable efforts within our industry,” said AJ Buran, senior account executive at WS Packaging Group, based in Green Bay. “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.”

Sussex-based 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 this spring.