Greeting cards are, as a rule, fairly environmentally friendly. Usually made from FSC certified board and recyclable. As we shall see, a current hot topic is the cellophane that cards are often wrapped in. The packing that we use to send out our orders is all cardboard based and fully recyclable.
The vast majority of greeting cards that we sell are FSC certified which means that the board used to create the card has come from well-managed forests or recycled sources. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the highest environmental and social standards.
The one issue that is of concern amongst greeting card publishers, retailers and customers alike is the issue of cellophane wrapping. Whereas the cards themselves are readily recyclable, the cellophane on the whole is not (specialist centres can recycle cellophane but this is not an option on typical doorstep recycling collections). There has been a great momentum for change recently in this forward-thinking industry. Several publishers had already opted for biodegradable wrapping which I believe to be starch based. However, the industry wants to do more.
Speaking for ourselves, at the Comedy Card Company, we have always requested our cards to be supplied 'unwrapped' where this is an option (although the majority of publishers automatically supply cards cellophane wrapped.) Being an online-only business, the issue of finger prints or envelopes going astray is not an issue for us compared to the traditional bricks and mortar card shop. With the concern over plastic packing reaching a crescendo, the industry has been having a rethink about what it can do to make positive changes. There has also been a 'Naked Card' campaign, encouraging publishers and retailers alike to go for unwrapped greeting cards and ditch the cellophane wrapping. Publisher Woodmansterne has led the way in making the change. Its new 'Smart Seal', a peel-off label that keeps the greeting cards and its envelope neatly together without the need of a cellophane wrapping is making its way into production. Other publishers are following suit. We believe this type of system will be commonplace in greeting card shops across the country very soon. We have already taken delivery of some cards boasting the new system.
We post our orders using cardboard backed or full cardboard envelopes. These are all fully recyclable and are often made from recycled materials themselves.
Our stock arrives in cardboard boxes as you might imagine. We collect these together and when we have a sufficient pile, we have a lovely man called Bruno who comes and collects them and takes them off for recycling. Maybe some of the boxes might end up being recycled into a funny card in the future!