News UK removes last of the plastic

Sunday Times magazines with paper band wrapped round them

News UK is on the brink of removing all single-use plastic used to wrap its titles and supplements.

This weekend, Sunday Times magazines in parts of South East of England will be wrapped with a recyclable paper band, replacing the existing plastic polybagging. The Saturday Times magazine will follow next weekend.

The insert process remains unchanged for retailers.

The paper banding will be phased across the rest of the UK and Ireland by mid-October, cutting the amount of plastic from 800 tonnes to zero.

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 publisher’s Sun and Sun On Sunday titles phased out single-use plastic entirely last December.

News UK Retail Director Neil Spencer said: “Retailers and readers have responded overwhelmingly positively to our plastics pledge and this latest paper band innovation is an industry-leading effort. Our suppliers have put plastics at the centre of their sustainability drive, building on their work reducing emissions through efficiency drives and sourcing 100% of paper from sustainable forest management systems.”