The Truth About Recycling Foiled Greeting Cards

In the past 2 years, we've made great strides to change the way we work so we can move towards a more sustainable future.

In 2020 we removed the plastic slip from all of our greeting cards to change to using 100% recycled paper to create all of our greeting cards, we are proud of the action we are taking to change the way our industry works. 

We know a large percentage of our cards feature foiling and we wanted to take some time to bust some myths about the recyclability of these cards.

For those of you who are not greeting card styling experts, foiling is a thin film of metallic foil which is impressed onto a document using a die – helping to create a really eye-catching piece of print and promoting quality. You’ll spot foiling on a wide range of our greeting and Christmas cards.

There’s a misconception that as soon as you put any foil on your print, you can’t recycle it any more.

Well, as a retailer of millions of greetings cards each year, many of which include foiling; we felt we couldn’t sit back any longer and wanted to put the record straight.

So, here goes:

Print containing hot foiling CAN be recycled.

Here are the facts:

  • Once transferred, foil is so incredibly thin (less than 2.5µm (microns) thick), that it completely dissipates within the re-pulping process. The coating weight is often less than conventional inks.
  • Therefore, as long as the paper/card you foil onto is also recyclable, you can simply throw it in the recycling bin.
  • Foil used on recyclable material can be re-pulped in the normal waste streams.
  • Foil is a dry, solvent-free method of printing.
  • Any waste foil from the production process is taken away and recycled by our dedicated waste company.
  • Our main printer is St Austell Print Company and the foil they use is provided by Foilco, who were the first foil company to be certified as ZeroFoil2Landfill compliant – A scheme backed by the BPF.

Would you like to find out more? You can read more about the sustainability and environmental credentials of foil in this informative pack from Foilco here.

*As stated in PIRA Report: September 2008 – Tested  sample sheets caused no problems in the re-pulping process.

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