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Lanes Printers and Notpla: Pioneering Sustainable Packaging with Seaweed Paper

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Sustainable packaging printed using Notpla material by Lanes Printers

At Lanes Printers, we are delighted to champion sustainable solutions, and our collboration with Notpla represents a significant stride in improving environmentally friendly printing. Their company name 'Notpla' is a reference to ‘not plastic’, and they pride themselves on ‘leaving nothing behind’ with their packaging solutions made from seaweed and other plant materials that will naturally disappear.

Environmental Impact

The use of seaweed is significant for driving positive environmental change due to it being an excellent renewable resource being plentiful across the world, and known for its rapid growth. Notpla ingeniously created their seaweed paper in order to use the leftover seaweed from other production methods, and to ensure that nothing is wasted. This aligns with our commitment to support positive environmental change and reduce our ecological footprint. 

Earthshot Prize Winner 2022, and exciting collaborations 

Pioneering a green revolution, Notpla emerged as a visionary company, redefining sustainable packing. In fact, Notpla won the Earthshot Prize for 2022 in ‘Build a Waste-Free world’ category, a testament to their visionary approach and impactful initiatives.

The Earthshot Prize, launched by Prince William in 2020, intends to investigate and extend the reach of groundbreaking solutions to the most significant environmental challenges to the world. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’ challenge, the Earthshot Prize encourages urgency and optimism to drive action to complete ambitious and universal goals for 2030. Notpla were recognised for their ingenious solution of Oohos for the London Marathon, and the creation of over 1 million take away food boxes for Just Eat We collaborated with Notpla in line with this, in the printing of vouchers for Just Eat customers - that demonstrated the versatility of their product. 

Notpla also collaborated with British Youtube channel and food community ‘Sorted Food’ to highlight the fantastic impact of their product in a day to day setting. The resultant entertaining video concludes with a delicious burger created by the Sorted Team, served in a Notpla burger box to members of the public, by Earthshot Founder Prince William. TheSorted video can be enjoyed here.

Success of sustainable and recognisable packaging

We are delighted to offer Notpla Seaweed paper as a choice for our sustainable printing options. In addition to being environmentally friendly, the Notpla material has a distinctive aesthetic. This is due to the manufacturing process of using the remaining seaweed fibres that were previously considered waste. This process results in the tactile flecks and speckles of the material, and feels like it has a coating on the paper making it an excellent choice for packaging.

The distinctive look, and tactile quality is an immediate signal that the company using this material cares deeply about the environment and sustainable packaging. Indeed, we want to showcase just some of Notpla’s clients that we have printed packing for. These are Haeckels, Treun House Atelier, Rio Nuevo, and Ensambles Coffee.

Haeckels - In 2021, we embarked upon our initial project with Notpla, where we printed some Christmas product sleeves for the natural skin care and wild fragrance company. As we were the first printers to print on their seaweed paper lithographically, this was the start of our collaboration to trial the newly developed material.

Treun House Atelier is an innovative company focusing on the future of manufacturing, and providing a better way to create fashion. Each of their garments is made to order, reducing fabric waste, and they also use an advanced technique called 3D Knitting to produce pieces as one entire element eradicating offcuts and waste.

Rio Nuevo is more than just a chocolate company. As an independent chocolate company based in Cornwall, they are dedicated to driving positive change within the industry by sourcing and producing the finest quality chocolate whilst also addressing inequalities that exist. They take pride in their strong bond with rural cacao farming communities and champion a chocolate making model that looks to sustain growers and help lift their communities out of poverty. They were also nominated for the ‘Protect and Restore Nature’ Category of the Earthshot Prize 2023. More information on their Earthshot nomination here.

Ensambles Cafes Mexicanos produce high quality mindful coffee, and are inspired by the need to transform the reality of coffee communities. They challenge the way coffee is currently produced, and highlight that the continuation of the current process could cause the crop to gradually degrade the ecosystem that hosts it. By working directly with coffee producers, Ensambles focus on socially and environmentally respectful cultivation practices.

By including Notpla seaweed as part of their packaging, our clients can immediately and clearly signal through the iconic speckling that the company values sustainability.

Challenges to Innovation

As with every new innovation, there will always be challenges and roadblocks in the way of progress. Lanes Printers is proud to support and enable the use of new technologies and sustainable materials. As a commercial printer, we play a role in the processing and production journey. We have already taken steps to encourage the use of this distinctive and innovative material such as conducting a number of trials to showcase the abilities of this material. We have confirmed that we can print digitally and lithographically. The benefit of digital printing is that we can print short runs, and those with variable data. Litho printing on the other hand is more economical for larger volumes, and as we have the ability to print larger items. The inks used in our printing is also environmentally friendly as they are vegetable based. 

Additionally, Notpla paper is available in a variety of thicknesses, and we can die cut, emboss, gold foil and personalise for each client. We have also printed swatches for Notpla directly, and these were distributed to other printers as samples to demonstrate use. In 2023, Notpla was taken on byGF Smith and is available to purchase through them. 

Overcoming perceived limitations

In addition to using our expertise in printing processes to guide our clients, we have also been challenging any perceived limitations of this material. One potential concern is the readability of content printed on the material, and most importantly, any technical aspects such as barcodes. We overcame this challenge by printing an opaque white square as the background for legibility and importantly increasing the contrast for barcodes or QR codes.

Advancing sustainable solutions 

The use of new materials such as Notpla seaweed paper will play a significant role in global sustainability. We have already printed invitations, champagne bags, cosmetic packaging, tickets, vouchers, business cards, gift boxes, sleeves, flyers, tags and presentation folders using this extraordinary material. Our partnership with Notpla reflects a commitment to reducing environmental impact and promoting a greener future. Are you interested in incorporating Notpla products into your packaging or finding out more about our Green Printing services and materials

Get in touch to discuss your printing needs!

We are delighted to offer a free upfront quote, and have no minimum order requirements as we can create a sample for you using our digital printing technology so you can experience the product ahead of placing your order. Contact us today to see how we can support your sustainable packaging needs. 

Experience the future of sustainable packaging with Lanes Printers.


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