BBC Gardeners' World Magazine March 2018

Information on plastic and recycling

If you subscribe to BBC Gardeners’ World magazine and want to recycle your copies here is the best way to do so.


Recycling your printed copy and supplements

Paper is widely recycled so you can include your copy, paper supplements and inserts, in your regular home paper recycling. Or, find your nearest paper recycling facility online.
Remember to remove any plastic wrapping and extras (such as seed packs) from the magazine before including it in paper recycling, and ensure that the paper is clean.

Find out more about recycling paper

Recycle your poly wrap

The film that your subscriber edition comes wrapped in can be recycled at carrier bag collection points at the larger stores of most major supermarkets. From December 2018, this recyclable poly wrap will also be used to package the newsstand value pack issues.

Find out more about recycling your magazine polywrap packaging

For more information and to find your local recycling centres visit

Is there a more eco-friendly packaging option?

We’re currently evaluating alternative packaging materials for the mailing of the magazine, to determine if we can use a material that has a lower overall impact on the environment and is available in the quantities we require. This is no simple matter, and there are pros and cons to all of the current alternatives:


On the plus side, paper is biodegradable and easily recycled. On the downside, it’s heavier than polythene, which increases fuel consumption during transport and may increase our overall carbon footprint. If choosing this material we would need to ensure we could guarantee that supplies would remain readily available at a consistent price level.


There are two sorts of bio-films –

  • Some are made with plant material but behave like a normal polythene. These have a low carbon footprint but have to be disposed of in the same way as conventional polythene wrappers.
  • Others are made with plant material and can be put into home or industrial composting systems. However these films can have a higher carbon footprint than standard polythene and if not disposed of correctly may contaminate standard waste streams and could still cause marine litter.

We’re seeking advice on whether these starch-based materials are strong enough to securely house all of the magazine issues we ship during the year. This applies particularly to those issues with a high pagination and/or those containing free extra supplements, such as our free 2-for-1 Gardens Guide or our annual calendar, as well as the free packets of seeds.


What next?

We’re still committed to finding a packaging solution that ensures your subscriber edition arrives in perfect condition, while minimising environmental impact. Please be assured that if we can find a viable option that balances both these requirements and offers a better solution than the current polywrap, we’ll update you. It’s important that we get this right, rather than opt for an alternative material that actually has a greater impact on the environment.