EMA unveils 'Please Recycle' campaign

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The Envelope Manufacturers Association, in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association and the Magazine Publishers Association, last month launched a "Please Recycle" campaign to encourage users and recipients of envelopes, cartons and packaging products to recycle these materials.

Beginning this summer, EMA member companies will have the option to add a free "Please Recycle" logo to their envelopes, packaging, packaging materials and cartons that can be recycled. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of the recycling logo.

Members are encouraged to display the logo on their Web sites and use it in communications or outreach groups in their communities.

"Most people know that newspapers are recyclable but they don't know that some envelopes, cartons and packaging products are as well," said Maynard Benjamin, president of EMA, Alexandria, VA. "Our æPlease Recycle' initiative is aimed at encouraging our customers to assist us in recovering more used mail for recycling through existing municipal waste streams and in recovering our packaging materials through similar waste-collection systems."

The campaign stems from other campaigns launched in May and March by the DMA and the MPA. Both enable members to use logos on their materials.

The DMA's campaign, "Recycle Please," is an industrywide public-education campaign that encourages consumers to recycle catalogs and direct mail pieces when they are finished reading them.

The MPA's campaign, also called "Please Recycle," is designed to overcome the lack of public awareness that magazines can be recycled in the majority of communities in the United States and increase the percentage of used magazines that are recycled.

Benjamin added that its members have joined the paper industry in its commitment to recover 55 percent of all paper that is produced.

"Our goal is to manage our resources wisely for future generations," Benjamin said.

The EMA has 174 member companies and all are enthusiastic about the idea, according to Tonya Muse, SVP of the EMA.

Muse said the program is also expanding into Europe. Benjamin is working with the EMA's counterpart in Europe, the European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers in Europe, to spread the word about the logo on its members' envelopes.

While the EMA does not have any specific placement guidelines, Muse said the association is encouraging manufactures to put the logo on the front of the envelopes.

Steve Brocker, VP of sales and marketing at of Western States Envelope, Milwaukee, is excited about the program. His company, an EMA member, sells envelopes.

"There is a perception out there that people don't realize that most of their mail is recyclable," he said. "This program will help change that."

Brocker added there are concerns in the public that advertising mail is causing great environmental problems.

"Advertising mail makes up only 2.2 percent of the municipal solid waste stream," he said. "Municipalities have to do a better job about educating consumers and getting them to understand the facts."

The EMA's Web site offers a news release that members can send to businesses and customers in the community.

He also said there are no specific EMA guidelines regarding placement of the logo and that it doesn't have to corrupt a direct mail piece's precious real estate.

"Most people will most likely use a small logo, one that is about a half-inch wide on corner on the back of an envelope," Brocker said. "It certainly won't be invasive and will not interfere with a marketer's advertising message."

In short, Brocker said the "Please Recycle" program will be a success.

"There is a big commitment to the environment in our industry, and I believe this program will be successful because it offers the companies the opportunity to promote this commitment free."

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