You will have noticed something different about the weekly Gazette. I am delighted to confirm that we have made the permanent switch from plastic polywrapping to paper envelopes. Many environmentally aware readers have requested this in recent months and I am delighted to oblige.
Studies have shown that the paper lifecycle is considerably more sustainable than poly. However, unlike plastic, people are not confused by paper; they know that they can recycle it and publishers and business owners don’t need to write clever messages on the wrapping to let customers know that the wrap can be recycled or composted. Polywrapping requires commitment to communicating with the end-user regarding disposal, which comes with its own set of challenges.
The Gazette formerly used over 160 kilograms of polywrap per week – over six tonnes a year – so the change is significant for the environment. But it has not been as straightforward as you might suppose. Our printer PCP invested £1m in a Sitma paper wrap machine (pictured) to enable the Gazette and other clients to do it. And paper envelopes can be a lot more expensive than plastic – one publisher I spoke to said it added £80,000 in additional costs to their annual print run. Fortunately, due to tight cost control (for which I thank my colleagues at the Law Society in production and procurement) the switch has turned out to be cost neutral for the Gazette.
As the Covid restrictions continue to bite, a reminder that you can opt to receive the print Gazette at your home address if this is more convenient. Simply contact out subscriptions team at Gazette.Subscriptions@LawSociety.org.uk with your SRA number.