Editor’s Diary: Cutting Back On Plastic


This Editor’s Diary is all about plastic. Or, to be more specific, what we are doing at the “Friend” to cut back on plastic use.

Reducing plastic consumption is a concern for us all.

And, if you have a subscription to the magazine, you will know that we made a big change in August last year.

Until then, subscription copies were posted out every week in plastic wrappers.

On the plus side, those plastic wrappers were tough and waterproof. They provided good protection for the copies inside. And they were recyclable – if only alongside carrier bags at larger supermarkets.

Not so positive was the environmental impact. Everyone is aware of the need to reduce our consumption of plastic, and we had been searching for an alternative for some time.

Options for wrappers using material such as potato starch looked attractive – but turned out to be problematic. Many were simply not recyclable at all.

In the end, paper from sustainable sources won the day. It has many benefits, including being completely recyclable at home.

Removing plastic from the process

So, in August 2020, all of our subscriber copies (over 45,000 per week for the weekly “Friend” alone) made the switch to paper wrap.

The response from subscribers has been overwhelmingly positive. Many of you are even recycling the wrappers to make shopping list pads!

And the really good news? We’ve already removed 1.4 million poly bags from the magazine’s production process by making this switch. And by the time we reach August 2021, that number will have risen to around 2.5 million!

For more from Angela’s Editor’s Diary, click the tag below.

Angela Gilchrist

Angela is Former Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. Her passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. Her favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.