School Recycling Project | Cereal Boxes To Business Cards

Since this journal post, we have stopped selling business cards. We do, however, continue to print our own business cards – tend of thousands each year – on used cereal boxes recycled from local schools.


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The Prelogram print team have been working on a business card/school recycling project using upcycled cereal boxes. It’s an idea the team borrowed from Richard Meneely of the United States Business Card Company. The project has been running for the last 18 months and is now ready to scale with a custom business card printing service.

Breakfast cereal manufacturers use quality cardboard for their cereal boxes. The outside of the boxes feature eye-catching and hard-wearing printed designs and the inside of the boxes are plain grey card which is ideal for letterpress.

Prelogram has partnered with three local schools to collect cereal boxes. The schools are: Holy Trinity Primary School in Halifax, Lidget Green Primary School in Bradford and St John’s CE Primary School in Rishworth. School kids bring cereal boxes to school and Prelogram pays the schools 5p for every box collected. The pupils learn about recycling and have the chance to visit the Prelogram print room, and the schools use the money to pay for educational extras.

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The Prelogram team has been using the card collected to print Prelogram’s own business cards. The card supplies are now regular enough and the print process perfected, so the team are ready to scale with a custom business card print service using cereal box card.

4IMG_0394_72dpiIMG_0392_72dpiThe cereal boxes are flattened and trimmed before being printed using mid-20th century Heidelberg platen machines. Unlike modern digital or litho presses, old-school letterpress craft print can cope with the varying thicknesses of cardboard from the many types of cereal boxes. The front of the business card/back of the box features the customer’s design and the reverses of the cards are a lucky-dip selection of snippets from bright and colourful cereal boxes.

The project incentivises kids to recycle and learn about printing, raises money for local schools, connects us with our local community, and reduces waste and energy consumption. If your school is local to us and interested in taking part in our cereal box recycling scheme, drop us an media@urbancottageindustries.com. The upcycled cereal box business cards are available to buy here.

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