Transcend Packaging and Jellyfish Livewire launch digitally printed sustainable gift cards


Industry collaboration aims to help replace thousands of tonnes of plastic cards every year

Up to 600 million plastic cards are produced each year, using up 3,100 tonnes of plastic

The eco-friendly gift cards will be printed via innovative HP Indigo digital press technology, uniquely capable of printing on heavier than spec paperboard, enabling brands to make design changes at the click of a button

LONDON, Wednesday 4th March: Fast growing packaging company, Transcend Packaging and sustainable gift card brand Green Gift Cards, from Jellyfish Livewire, have come together with specialist paper company Iggesund and HP to launch a full-service range of digitally printed ‘eco’ gift cards, made from recyclable paperboard.

In the UK alone, approximately 600 million gift cards are produced each year, using up to 3,100 tonnes of plastic.

Legacy plastic gift cards are printed on PVC or split core cards that require 2 plastic sheets to be heated and pressed together. The new offering from Transcend and Jellyfish Livewire will use Invercote board, a premium FSC certified paperboard produced for Green Gift Cards by Iggesund. The Invercote board can replicate the rigidity and performance of the current plastic gift cards, but without the negative environmental impact.

Transcend will print the Green Gift cards via its HP Indigo digital press, the only HP digital press in the world capable of printing on board with this thickness.

The new, sustainable cards not only have a more premium feel and quality than plastic alternatives, but thanks to the latest digital printing techniques can be highly personalised and printed in small batches never previously possible. The ability to print on thicker paperboard on the HP 30000 is a breakthrough and opens up a wide range of digital marketing opportunities for brand holders.

‘’The gift card industry is worth in excess of £6 Billion annually in the UK.’’ said Lorenzo Angelucci, CEO, Transcend Packaging. ‘’But until now, brands have been restricted by the incredibly wasteful use of plastic – something which is becoming a turn-off for consumers. With their impressive suite of customers, Green Gift Cards prove that premium brands and customers are drawn to more sustainable solutions.”

Angelucci continues: ‘’With our HP Indigo 30000 digital press, we can get cards to market much quicker, help brand owners hit their launch dates, print in smaller batches and potentially customise the design of every card they print, opening up endless possibilities.’’

Graham Lycett, Managing Director of Jellyfish Livewire and founder of Green Gift Cards said: ‘’For more than 10 years we have been working to rid the world of plastic cards – which are used prevalently across numerous sectors. By collaborating with Transcend, Iggesund and HP, we can help brands across the board replace single and limited use plastic cards, whether that’s hotel room keys, ID cards, gift cards and maybe one day bank and credit cards.”

“Being able to print digitally on thicker material is an important step in producing gift and other types of cards on digital presses,” continues Lycett, who has been one of the driving forces behind a development project to increase the thickness of paperboard that can be used in an HP Indigo 30000.

“We have actively worked to ensure our Invercote paperboard is the best option for digital printing. This project confirms that we’re on the right track,” explains Thomas Janson, Business Development Manager at Iggesund Paperboard.

By utilising HP’s Mosaic technology, it is possible to vary the print from one card to the next, allowing new levels of customisation. The digital printing process also makes it possible to offer reasonably priced cards in smaller print runs, while large organisations can order card volumes to fit consumption, rather than printing massive runs to get the best economy.

Transcend’s Angelucci adds, “This collaboration allows companies to change to a renewable, environmentally friendly material for their gift cards while placing multiple small orders and eliminating the need to keep stock, reducing waste and allowing scope for quick design modifications.”