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Eco-friendly Promotional Products

Posted in Editors Column on Mon 29 Jul 2013

This year saw the launch of the European Promotional Products Association’s (EPPA) Code of Conduct for Corporate Social Responsibility. For several years the European Promotional Products Association (EPPA) has been working for the introduction of a European sustainability standard for the promotional products industry. The focus of the certification program is on observance of the laws and regulations, the renunciation of forced and child labour, good working conditions, decent working hours and the rejection of exploitation, discrimination and intimidation. To date, more than 8,000 European companies have adopted this code of conduct.

The EPPA quality seal is just one of many certificates within the industry. For some time promotional merchandise suppliers have been focussing on quality and transparency for promotional products as a central objective. Whether for accessories, T-shirts, pens or packaging; the "green" initiative in the industry is gaining ground.

With promotional products often being used and then thrown away, it has become increasingly important for suppliers to lessen the detrimental impact of these products on the earth. A great example of this is the debate over the use of plastic bags as promotional items.

Annually, between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed all over the world. That equates to one million bags per minute and about 1.5 billion bags per day. Plastic bags are difficult and costly to recycle and many end up filling up landfills or in our rivers, seas and forests.

Within the industry we are seeing more and more suppliers offering eco-friendly, reusable bags and the demand for this item is steadily growing. Using sustainable promotional products offers businesses an easy way to improve their environmental impact and it can help to improve a brand’s image with its customers. More companies than ever before are using "green" giveaways to promote their commitment to the environment while advertising their brand, product or event.

Promotional Merchandise suppliers are now supplying a much greater range of Eco-friendly promotional products, including among others, re-usable water bottles, pens, lanyards and USBs. These products generally fall into two categories; those made from recycled materials, and those made from materials which are sustainably produced. Whilst many people are familiar with the concept of recycling, using items such as recycled card and paper on a daily basis, the use of sustainably produced materials is a more recent phenomenon.

The idea of sustainable materials is that all resources used are replaced. For example, if a tree is cut down to make furniture, a new one is planted in its place. Not all materials are able to be produced in a sustainable way, as many resources take a number of years to replenish. Bamboo is a popular sustainable resource as it is capable of growing back extremely quickly.

New eco-friendly promotional products continue to emerge into the market. The newest products feature enhanced designs that improve functionality and better meet consumer needs.

Requesting eco-friendly promotional products may be a small gesture but it will contribute to the sustainable future of our world for the generations to come. If you would like quotes for eco-friendly promotional products from three leading UK suppliers, fill out the Quick Quotes form today.

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