Sustainable Stationery: Tips for going Plastic Free

To celebrate Plastic Free July 2022 and help you succeed at reducing your plastic consumption this month, we’re sharing tips about how sustainable stationery lovers can get involved with the challenge.

When it comes to switching out plastic in your lives, stationery might not be an obvious place to start. But there are plenty of sneaky ways plastic is used. Drawing on our experience creating stationery at our factory we're sharing tips and simple switches - to help you go plastic free.

1. Switch out the spiral

Who doesn’t love the layflat experience of a spiral notebook? Unfortunately, most wires out there are covered in a plastic coating.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We love using spiral notebooks as much as the next person so we made it our mission to find a solution, and dream up a plastic free alternative.

All our Wirobound Notebooks feature a non-plastic coated, steel wire. Not only does this remove plastic, but it also means the whole notebook is fully recyclable. Simply separate the wire from the pages when you’re finished and pop them straight in your home recycling bin.

2. What’s beneath the surface?

Small design elements are easily overlooked. But together they make a big difference to how genuinely sustainable your notebook is.

Take the covers, for example. Are they laminated? Is there excessive glue, or ink?

All three things are standard practice in the stationery world. Whilst laminating does add a layer of protection again wear and tear, we’re not convinced it’s essential.

Ours are purposefully “naked” for this reason - and we honestly just love the tactile nature of non-laminated paper!

Glues and inks both contain plastic polymers. We’re hopeful the industry will innovate and eventually produce widely available, plastic free alternatives but until then, they’re unavoidable.

What you can do, however, is choose items that use these things sparingly. Avoid pages flooded with ink, lots of special finishes, or excessive glue.

3. Take note of packaging

Plastic packaging is extremely damaging to the environment. Moreover, it’s a sad truth that even plastic intended for recycling ends up in landfill – less than 10% of plastic waste gets recycled.

At Coffeenotes we use plastic free, paper packaging. Paper is a sustainable raw material, and one of the most recycled products in the world (learn more here).

Determined to find a way to make our packaging even more eco-friendly, we were unwrapping new printing plates (large metal plates which transfer an image on to paper) in the factory one day, when we realised we could repurpose the heavy weight tissue they'd been delivered in, as packaging.

So when you order from us, it's not just your stationery that's made from repurposed waste.

4. Fear not the fountain pen

Everyone knows single use plastic pens are bad for the environment. So why not use the Plastic Free challenge this month to finally take a chance on a fountain pen?

The beauty of a metal fountain pen is that it's designed to last; and be reused over, and over again. Excitingly, these pens are experiencing a resurgence as of late especially amongst younger people. So there’s plenty of types, colours and inks available to choose from.

Check out Tom’s Studio – a fellow independent, sustainable brand making totally original calligraphy and fountain pens, here in Dorset. We’re a bit obsessed with their creative designs and incredible craftsmanship.

Plastic free is possible

We hope you're feeling inspired to confidently reduce your plastic consumption this month and beyond, with these tips and simple switches for stationery. As the saying goes, dedicate a month of your life to doing something - and it just might form a lasting habit.

Shop Now - plastic free Wirobound Notebooks

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Learn More - Plastic Free July 2022


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