Creating book covers from recycled ocean plastics

The level of plastic pollution in the world, and in particular the ocean, is a topic hitting the headlines frequently.

It is not only vital to remove this plastic from the channels that take it to the sea; creative ways to make use of this as a resource in order to reduce waste are becoming essential.

One of the ways this plastic is being reused after being collected is to produce a cloth for book covers. Winter & Company have recently launched 'Toile Ocean', the first book cover material woven from recycled ocean plastic.

How do you upcycle plastic bottles into a material for book covers?

The journey begins in South East Asia, a part of the world where high levels of discarded plastic waste finds its way into the seas and rivers. This ocean-bound waste is collected by local employees including fishermen and it is then transported to Basel, in Switzerland, where the innovative company, tide ocean SA or #tide, that recycles the plastic is based. With ethical values at its core, the company transports the plastic waste in a carbon neutral way, and ensures locals in South East Asia are employed under fair conditions.

Using renewable energy, this plastic is then turned into a granular material, and a product that can be used again. The next stage is producing a plastic yarn, which is then spun like any other yarn such as cotton or wool, into a high quality, polyester textile. Here’s where Winter & Company step in. Using this upcycled plastic yarn, Winter & Company have created a material suitable for book covers, called Toile Ocean.

The material is beautifully textured and hard wearing, and offers a unique feel to the book. Book covers made with Toile Ocean can be finished with either foil blocking or debossing like regular cloth. The material is available in several colours, all in natural muted tones.

Pricing-wise, this material is slightly more expensive than traditional materials, but it is aimed at those who want to make a contribution to a clean ocean. Winter & Company even donates 1% of the turnover, of every metre sold, to clean water projects. Knowing that your book covers are made using upcycled plastic that was otherwise destined for the ocean is also sure to add a feel good factor to your books.

Swallowtail Print are excited to be using this innovative and eco-friendly material. We are already ensuring we make more environmentally conscious decisions as a printer, so offering Toile Ocean for book covers is another step forward.

Next time you have a publication that you want printing, get in touch and ask about Toile Ocean book cloth.

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