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Ramping Up Banner Recycling

Print providers encourage clients to repurpose banners



Banners are a popular product for print providers. Unfortunately, a lot of the material used for banners isn’t eco-friendly, and the products that are “green” can’t just be dropped off at the local supermarket for recycling, like aluminum cans or plastic bottles. They have to be taken to certain recycling plants. Some print providers are taking a proactive approach to facilitate banner recycling.

Resource Grand provides instructions to some of its larger clients on what to do with and where to ship the banners after a campaign. “We’ve been able to roll out a banner program to a few different customers,” says G. Todd Graham. “The media manufacturer actually takes the banners back after the campaign is done. It has to make sense logistically, though. If you’re sending 2500 banners to 2500 different dealers across the country, how likely is it all those guys are going to put it in a UPS tube and ship it back to some central place when they’re done with it? But, if you’re doing something for one event in one area, when the event or campaign is over, they’re collecting them all and shipping them back. Instructions for shipping come from us, but they’re shipping them back straight to the manufacturer.” Those banners, according to Graham, are being recycled and turned into material for carpet.

Carmen Rad of CR&A Custom, tries to recycle as many of the banners they produce as possible, adding it can be difficult, because most clients simply won’t take the time to properly dispose of the banners. “They have to be taken to a specific type of recycling plant, and these are not readily available. You can’t just take them to the local supermarket where you recycle your water bottles, so we set up a system for them to pick up the banners and then ship them to the recycling plant.” Even then, according to Rad, some companies still do not participate.

Resource Grand created this display for skateboard manufacturer Habitat, a company that prides itself on making products out of eco-friendly materials (its skateboards are made of bamboo). Resource Grand says it has seen an uptick in requests from P-O-P clients for the use of recycled, corrugated board, with more wanting the corrugated core exposed to show customers that it’s made from paper, not plastic.

Through help from recycling initiatives from print providers such as Point Imaging, along with banner-material suppliers, companies are increasingly repurposing banners and other used wide-format media. Nike, for example, is a proponent of taking its promotional banners and turning them into items such as equipment bags and laptop bags, just one of several initiatives as the footwear and clothing giant pushes toward corporate environmental responsibility.

Print providers are actively marketing their sustainability initiatives to new and existing clients. For instance, the creative team at Print Art created this image—with accompanying tagline: “It’s more than a certification. It’s a dedication.”—as part of an upcoming marketing campaign. Print Art has initiated several internal sustainability programs, and recently achieved Rainforest Alliance certification through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).





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