News UK removes final 250 tonnes of plastic from products with paper banding

The new paper binding will replace The Times and Sunday Times' the existing inner plastic polybagging

Thanks to the planned rollout of the new paper banding across all regions of Ireland and the UK by mid-October, the amount of single-use plastic used will drop to zero



8 September 2020

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In a newspaper industry first, Sunday Times magazines in parts of South East of England were wrapped with a recyclable paper band during the weekend, replacing the existing inner plastic polybagging. The Saturday Times magazine is now set to follow this weekend.

The paper banding will be phased into the titles across all regions of the UK and Ireland by mid October as News UK rolls out the new banding region by region.

The move is the last piece of the group’s plastics pledge to remove all single-use plastic used to wrap its titles and inner magazines, reducing the amount from 800 tonnes to zero in its products.

The Times and The Sunday Times removed all single-use plastic outer polybagging in June 2019, with outer polybagging either replaced by compostable alternatives made from potato starch, or in the case of supermarkets, removed completely.

The titles have also shone a light on environmental causes, campaigning for change through its Clean Air for all campaign and championing climate charities such as Positive, raising over £100,000 for the cause in its Christmas appeal.

In October 2019, The Sun TV Mag removed its inner plastic polybagging across the UK and Irish editions, removing 350 tonnes of single-use plastic per year from the Saturday issue. Meanwhile, The Sun on Sunday phased out single-use plastic by the end of December 2019.

“Retailers and readers have responded overwhelmingly positively to our plastics pledge and this latest paper band innovation is an industry-leading effort,” said News UK retail director, Neil Spencer.

“Our suppliers have put plastics at the centre of their sustainability drive,” Spencer added, “building on their work reducing emissions through efficiency drives and sourcing 100% of paper from sustainable forest management systems. The insert process after this move remains unchanged for retailers.”

“At The Times and The Sunday Times, we don’t waste words and we won’t waste plastic,” added general manager, Michael Brunt. “It may not be top of the news agenda at the moment, but environmental sustainability remains an incredibly important issue and one we are proud to champion both in our titles and our supply chain.”

Readers and retailers can give feedback on the new paper banding by emailing



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