“Green” Promotional Merchandise, what’s available and what does it mean?

We’re all, or hopefully we’re all, conscious of how our actions can have an influence on our environment. One of the positive effects we can have is making more sustainable choices in both our homes and work. We have aligned ourselves with suppliers who recognise the need to support social and responsible production, recycling and reutilization. However, this area can be hard to understand with a multitude of terms and different products. Here we give you a short explanation of the terminology, which will hopefully help you in your decision making.


We’ll kick off with the one we have heard about for the longest time. The product material has been used before and then put through a process so that it can form a new product. Some of our rPET products (recycled polyethylene tetraphyte…PET) are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Bottles are cleaned and melted down into pellets which are then re-used in new products. We have a wide variety of rPET promotional products and clothing available, helping spread your brand message and help with your sustainability goals! 


Didn’t we just explain this one? No, it isn’t to be confused with ‘recycled’. It is a product which is able to be recycled at the end of its life, using the right processes. Some products such as printed pens do need to be taken apart so that all components can be fully recycled correctly, and we are on hand to give you all the advice you need to ensure you get the best products for your sustainable campaigns.


‘Sustainable’ basically means ‘to be able to maintain a certain level or rate and does not have a detrimental effect on natural resources’. At Bright Promotions sustainability and sustainable products are at the very top of our agenda. We have a huge variety of options to help with your sustainability goals.

Eco-Friendly / Environmentally-Friendly

In the simplest terms it means ‘less harmful to the environment’. In terms of promotional merchandise, we class items as eco friendly if they are reusable, made from recycled materials, biodegradable, or made from natural materials such as bamboo or wheatstraw to name a few. For example, reusable drinkware is a great option when looking for practical branded eco-friendly merchandise.

Fair Trade

Fair Trade is an official mark to show the product is produced in an ethical manner. Unofficial products who meet these criteria but are not officially classified can be referred to as ‘fairly traded’.

Fairtrade itself is a wonderful organisation https://www.fairtrade.org and they too can offer lots of support.

Virgin Material

Material that has not been used to make any product before (i.e. not recycled or reused). If you are looking for eco products which use ZERO virgin material, look no further than our rHIPS.b range.

rHIPS.b products are made from 100% waste materials such as old yoghurt pots and the inside of fridges.


The product breaks down into harmless components, given the right conditions, and can be used as compost when it decays. Compostable materials are materials that have been certified to break down completely into non-toxic components (water, carbon dioxide, and biomass) that will not harm the environment, given the right conditions. The time it takes for something to break down depends largely on the product itself and the composting conditions.


A product which is able to decay naturally and in a way that is not harmful to the environment. Biodegradation occurs by microbes fully digesting the polymer. If something is biodegradable, it will eventually break down into smaller and smaller pieces by natural processes. Depending on what the item is, it could take anything from 6 months to 1000 years to break down. Our rHIPS.b range is a perfect example of biodegradable merchandise. rHIPS.b products naturally biodegrade in home compost, marine, and landfill 200 times faster than standard plastic.