The Times and Sunday Times have joined the Guardian in introducing compostable wrapping as part of a drive to ditch single-use plastic.
The Guardian’s Saturday edition became the first UK national newsbrand to use biodegradable wrapping when it was introduced in January.
The wrapping is made from potato starch and can be disposed of in compost heaps and food waste bins.
Guardian News and Media announced today that the compostable wrapping will now be rolled out to its news magazine Guardian Weekly after it received a “positive response” from readers of the newspaper’s Saturday supplements.
GNM director of publishing Mylene Sylvestre said: “It was wonderful to see such a positive response from readers after the introduction of compostable wrapping for our Saturday paper and I am proud that we can now look to extend this to Guardian Weekly subscribers in the UK and beyond.
“We are continuing to put considerable effort into making our print products as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible.”
The Times and Sunday Times are now following suit with a similar biodegradable wrapping made from potato starch to protect the outside of all their copies delivered to subscribers’ homes.
The Times made the switch on Monday, with the Sunday Times set to follow from this weekend.
The Times Literary Supplement, also owned by News UK, will switch to compostable film wrapping from Friday.
A News UK spokesperson said: “These moves form part of News UK’s plastics pledge to remove all single-use plastic used to wrap our titles and inner magazines by 2020.”
News UK stablemate The Sun is expected to follow suit as part of this pledge, but no further details have been given as yet.
Last month, the outer wrapping from 118,000 copies of the Sunday Times sent to supermarkets was removed after a successful trial, which the spokesperson said would remove 35 tonnes of plastic from the retail supply chain.
At the start of this year the Financial Times stopped using plastic bags to protect newspapers during deliveries– with exceptions for harsh weather – in response to environmental concerns from readers.
The Telegraph told Press Gazette today it is still exploring options for compostable wrapping.
A spokesperson said: “We are no longer pursuing commercial deals involving the plastic water bottles given away with the purchase of our newspaper, and on wrappings we continue to search for commercially viable alternatives.”
The Guardian Weekly’s UK subscribers will get the compostable wrapping with their deliveries this week, while it is set to be rolled out in Europe in the coming months.
Options for biodegradable wrapping are still being explored by the title for Australia and New Zealand, where it is also distributed. Guardian Weekly arrives unwrapped in the US and Canada.
Guardian Weekly was relaunched as an news magazine in October almost 100 years after it was first printed as an international newspaper.
Editor Will Dean told Press Gazette he wanted the magazine to draw in younger readers who may have grown up reading news and features online, but who liked the idea of reading print.