Graduates to a new level of green with Alumni magazine.

With a circulation of over 200,000 for its alumni magazine, published three times a year, the University of Cambridge was on a mission to remove the layers of polythene film that had traditionally been used for delivery and source a more sustainable solution.

Seeking a more sustainable mailing material.

Paper envelopes were not an option due to the thickness of the pack and the university was still keen to have a clear wrap. So a new film made from potato and corn starch seemed to offer the perfect solution – a contemporary mash-up of being compostable whilst still offering transparency.

When King Edward VII’s name was given to a new variety of the humble potato, no one could have guessed - including this former royal student himself - that just over a century later, potato starch would play a part in his university’s sustainability strategy. 

Indeed, back then, turning green was just a colour and not a particularly healthy one at that for the average spud. Fast forward to the 21st century and the potato, or rather its waste, has sprouted up as a key solution to help organisations chip away at their plastic footprint.

Putting the compostable promise to the test!

To test the theory and to ensure it wasn’t just a half-baked idea!, Simon Frost, Production Manager at the Precision Marketing Group trialled the decomposition of the film in an ordinary garden compost bin. It fully disintegrated in under ten days. We filmed the process for visual proof!

Alumni shared their reactions on Twitter

Dr Chetan Narshi @rheumi_ …Great to see that my alumni magazine from @Cambridge_Uni arrived in a compostable cover.  #nomoreplastic #savetheplanet

Tanya Filer @TanyaFiler…Nice job @ Cambridge_Uni - alumni magazine on responsibly sourced paper & in compostable & biodegradable packaging #GreenCambridge 

Emily Slade @EmilyJo24633834…@cambridge_uni @camalumni Received my Alumni Mag in 100% compostable film wrap. Hurray! #plasticfree #renewable #compostable film


bitmap1Switching our alumni mailings from traditional polythene has the potential of removing 3.75 tonnes from landfill per annum and complements the University of Cambridge’s Environmental Sustainability Vision.

A spokesperson from the University of Cambridge.

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