The rapid growing trend for promotional products to be more sustainable is spreading throughout our industry. Certain product types such as reusable bottles, stationery and even confectionary have become so popular, suppliers struggle to keep them in stock. Here we will focus on how this trend is affecting the world of gadgets and technology. Products such as charging cables, power banks and wireless speakers are now some of the most used and kept items in our sector delivering brand awareness for months and even years for marketeers, but can they be eco friendly too?
Many technology items require a mix of lithium batteries, wires, chips and other internal components which are hard to recycle and dispose of. However there is a growing trend to change the outer case materials these types of products are made from and to find different and more sustainable materials which can be better recycled at the end of the products life. Let’s explore some of these now.
Switching a products case material from plastic to bamboo or FSC managed wood sources helps with the biodegradable properties and also makes for a very soft and desirable finish. Other natural materials finding favour are cork, leather, eco fabric, and of course paper – wood composites.
A growing trend and one to watch is products that are made from recycled plastic often PET bottles cleared from the sea, this represents a better solution. Other materials such as recycled metals, regrind silicone also offer safe and sustainable options.
Choosing materials that break down sooner over time is also a good option and now we are seeing major companies from the USA who are producing bio additives (e.g BioSphere) which dramatically speed up the degrading process of plastic from 100 years to 3-5 years. Other materials becoming popular are recyclable aluminium and stainless steel.
Companies are also switching packaging to only using paper from FSC managed sources, all of which can be recycled. And eliminating the use of single use plastic in cable ties, covers and protective films. The reduction of foam in packaging is also helping to stop land fill. Reducing the size of gift boxes is reducing the carbon foot print of its transport to the UK and many suppliers now send products by sea freight rather than air to reduce both costs and be more sustainable in its supply chain management.
To conclude, tech gadgets can be more sustainable and are still the desirable choice for many marketeers.
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