‘The Guardian’ Swaps Out Plastic for Compostable Wrapping to Reduce Harmful Waste

Readers of the UK's The Guardian newspaper may have noticed something a little different when they received last weekend's edition. Instead of receiving the newspaper's supplements in the normal plastic packaging, everything was placed inside a silky translucent wrapper. No ordinary plastic wrapper, The Guardian‘s new packaging is made from potato starch, meaning it's completely biodegradable.

In fact, rather than placing the new wrapper in the recycling bin, it should actually be composted or placed with food waste. The switch started in Greater London and select counties across England and will continue to spread across the UK in the coming months. It's a bold step for the newspaper, which often publishes articles about what we can do to help the environment, and it's one that won't come without a cost. To offset some of the investment, the weekday edition will increase 20 pence (about $0.25) and the Saturday edition will increase 30 pence (about $0.39).

The Guardian's decision comes on the heels of initiatives by corporate giants like Starbucks and Woolworths to curb or reduce plastic waste. Other publishing giants have also been innovating solutions on how to cut their plastic usage. In 2018, National Geographic announced that they'll be rolling out paper packaging for all subscribers by 2020 as part of their Planet or Plastic? initiative.

The newspaper has stated that the new wrapper should “completely compost within six months in a well-maintained compost heap or food waste bin.” While there are some questions by readers as to whether or not their council authorities will allow the wrappers in the food waste bin, overall the feedback has been positive. The Guardian‘s switch follows the examples of publications like National Trust members' magazine and the New Internationalist.

The Guardian newspaper has switched to biodegradable potato starch wrapping for their weekend edition.

There is some confusion on proper disposal…

But overall there have been positive reactions.

h/t: [dezeen]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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