Our publisher, Taylor & Francis has a mission to reduce our environmental impact, and one of the key areas that they have been looking at is the use of plastics, which have a detrimental effect on our planet, animals and water sources.
There are two main areas in which plastics are used in the journal: 1) in laminated covers and 2) in the biodegradable polywrap that we use to distribute the print copies. As a result, T&F currently uses over three million plastic wraps globally each year (for context, this would be the equivalent weight of approximately six cars), and they print approximately 3.3 million laminated journal covers. This plastic is not fully degradable and is not consistently, or effectively, recycled.
Over the past 12 months, we have trialed a few different mailing options, beginning with test mailings to colleagues around the world and then moving onto live journals in collaboration with some of their society partners. Taylor & Francis believes that the only way to truly future-proof the journals and ensure that as a publisher they do as little harm to the environment as possible is to completely remove all plastic packaging from the journal mailing, termed “naked mailing”. Pleasingly, since they began the pilot on live journals at the start of the year, they have received very positive feedback from customers and society members and we are now expanding this approach across the wider business.
To facilitate the naked mailing of the journals, whilst ensuring that they meet global mailing requirements, they would need to make some amendments to the journal covers:
- They would remove the plastic lamination (both gloss and matte) from the outside covers;
- They would also remove all content from the outside back cover (C4). The C4 page must be completely white, except for T&F and/or society logos, to allow for the inclusion of the recipients’ addresses and any additional local mailing information. As such, elements such as Tables of Contents would need to be relocated inside the journal.
Our Journal Editor, Professor Sarah Younie would be keen to hear your thoughts once this is applied to the TPE Journal.