World Association of News Publishers

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

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

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September 4, 2020 – This weekend, in a newspaper industry first, Sunday Times magazines in the South East of England will be wrapped with a recyclable paper band, replacing the existing inner plastic polybagging. The Saturday Times magazine will follow next week.

Paper band Sunday Times with STCM front & AA artwork.

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

The move is the last piece of News UK’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.

Advertisers including the AA are already lined up to snap up innovative new commercial space on the sustainable paper bands, in another industry first. 

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 Times has led the way with shining 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, replaced by compostable film.

The Times and The Sunday Times Sales Director, Caroline Tredget said: “Readers have responded overwhelmingly positively to our plastics pledge and this latest innovation has captured the imagination of advertisers too. It’s a unique opportunity for brands to engage with a sustainable advertising initiative with premium positioning across our weekend published editions. This presents a new bespoke opportunity for brands looking for high impact standout and particularly environmentally conscious brands looking to accelerate their message and engage with our readers.”

The Times and Sunday Times General Manager, Michael Brunt said: “At The Times and The Sunday Times we don’t waste words and we won’t waste plastic. Over the past year we have reduced the plastics in our products to zero and continue to campaign for green issues through our award-winning journalism. 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."

About News UK
News UK is committed to protecting and minimising its impact on the environment. At News UK we source 100% of our publications' paper from mills using certified third-party sustainable forest management systems and/or recycled content. You can read our sustainable paper policy here. The business has also achieved a 42% reduction in its carbon footprint since 2006, exceeding its 2020 goal of 40%. Having achieved the target, News Corp has now committed to setting science-based targets to further reduce its carbon footprint, becoming the first North America-based media company to do so.


About Sitma
Sitma is an Italian company founded in 1965 specialised in the design and marketing of machines and complete lines for the Packaging, e-Logistics, Post Press and DM sectors. Sitma's attention to sustainability does not stop at the machines, but rather it extends to the entire supply chain, involving customers and suppliers of raw materials, to identify new solutions for packaging taking a simultaneous approach to developing materials and ensuring their usability with the machines.

As an example of this principle, Sitma has been able to support Prinovis, located in Liverpool, in the process of replacing single-use plastic packaging with an innovative solution of Paper-Banding. Sitma and Prinovis are working in the same direction, meaning they offer alternative, environmentally-friendly solutions to polywrap.

Sitma's special Paper Banding Module is just one of the possible solutions developed by the Company to process magazines and flyers. Thanks to this stand alone equipment, Prinovis won't be getting rid of polywrap but will continue to make it using now compostable, biodegradable and recyclable films, further to paper, being able to act with great flexibility.

Paper banding will also enable publishers, such as News UK, to personalize the packaging with marketing messages, becoming in this way an even further attractive solution, both for the business itself and the final customers.


About Prinovis
Prinovis is Europe’s largest printing services provider, with its headquarters in Gutersloh, four printing facilities (in Germany and the United Kingdom) and also a representative office in Paris.

The Bertelsmann Printing Group comprises all of Bertelsmann’s printing operations: gravure and offset printing plants in Germany and the UK as well as offset and digital printing facilities in the U.S.

It brings together a broad printing and services portfolio, extending from marketing services, creative and content services; data services; prepress, printing and post press services; to comprehensive logistics and customer loyalty solutions.

Further information about Prinovis UK is available at
The Prinovis global website is at


Michael Spinner-Just's picture

Michael Spinner-Just


2020-09-07 09:56

The World Printers Forum (WPF) is an organisation of newspaper printers and suppliers within WAN-IFRA. It promotes the power of print and the sustainability of print production. Read more ...

Publishers and printers around the world have come to expect WAN-IFRA to provide the most up-to-date know-how about production processes, whether it be in prepress, printing, workflow or postpress. Its range of advisory services, trainings, reports and events are unparalleled. Read more ...