promotional products symbols and the Earth

The Environmental Impact Of The Promo Industry (Response to Fast Company Article)

Botanical PaperWorks, an eco-friendly seed paper supplier, weighs in on recent scrutiny of the promotional product industry and its environmental impact.

Promotional products are an effective advertising tool that has proven beneficial for a wide range of industries. As a massive material-based industry including everything from branded mugs and pens to calendars and magnets, it’s no surprise that there has been some serious scrutiny over its environmental impact.

Articles like this one by Fast Company, have called out the industry for distributing cheaply made, “toss-away” plastic products from China.

The truth is, that every industry has and will have challenges as the world faces a global environmental crisis. The promotional product industry is no exception. But with those challenges also come new opportunities.

Anyone within the promotional products industry knows that usefulness and purpose are critical to their effectiveness. Toss-away items simply don’t do the job that promotional products set out to do. The challenge, however, is that even products that might seem useful are being considered toss-away items because of sheer excess. Even if something has a clear function, it’s not necessarily useful if you already have ten of them.

This is why it’s more important than ever for industry professionals to explore and promote unique, meaningful, quality products that aren’t harmful to the planet. And what is perhaps even more critical, is for businesses purchasing promotional products to demand them.

We are in this together.

There have already been huge strides taken by many leaders in the promotional product industry to deliver more sustainable, long-lasting, unique products and to cull out the more disposable items.

As Paul Bellantone, President and CEO of PPAI stated in his response to the Fast Company article,

“With the right resources and tools, promotional products organizations have been adopting policies to offer more environmentally-conscious assurances for their customers and employees. From green and compostable products to sustainable textiles, the promotional products industry has taken a proactive stance”

Many promotional product companies have carved out entire sections on their website and catalogs filled with eco-friendly promotional product ideas.

Distributors across North America are developing new relationships with eco-friendly suppliers that manufacture right here in North America, and are steering away from ordering from places like China whenever possible.

How do we know this? Because Botanical PaperWorks is a North American seed paper manufacturer and promotional product supplier that is growing every year. There is a clear demand for eco-friendly promotional products that are manufactured with clean technology and leaders in the industry are adapting to that demand.

Businesses rely on a variety of marketing tools to grow and contribute to the economy, and it is possible to help them achieve those goals with promotions that do less harm and more good.

Going forward, suppliers can focus efforts on sourcing more sustainable materials and developing more eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Distributors can pitch long-lasting, eco-friendly products to clients and encourage/educate them about making better choices.

It’s good to be green, and Botanical PaperWorks is proud to be an eco-friendly supplier to an industry that we trust will adapt and grow towards a greener future for all businesses.


Botanical PaperWorks is the world-leading producer of eco-friendly seed paper and winner of multiple ‘Best In Green’ Image Awards. We produce promotional products, wedding, memorial products and sustainable packaging for more than 35 countries.

The Botanical PaperWorks team is led by CEO Heidi Reimer-Epp who founded Botanical PaperWorks over 20 years ago. Heidi is the chairperson of the PPPC board, Canada’s promotional product industry association. Heidi is a papermaking expert and is the author of three books, including The Encyclopedia of Papermaking and Bookbinding.

Plantable business cards, bookmarks and more eco-friendly pieces to help your business grow.

Learn more about how you can incorporate this special eco-friendly paper into your next corporate branding by subscribing to our newsletter and download Seed Paper Promotions Catalogs.


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