The Guardian's supplements came wrapped in a plastic substitute this weekend, but only in some areas.
London, Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk got their Guardians wrapped up in a compostable material made from potato starch, which is apparently more expensive but less planet-ruining than polythene. It'll be rolling out to the rest of the country shortly.
Confusingly, the starchy substance shouldn't be put in the recycling bin. Instead, you're supposed to put it in with your food waste, or on the compost heap for the three people who have enough land to have one of those (all of whom read the Guardian).
— Mark Galloway (@mark__galloway) January 12, 2019
According to the BBC, the new packaging feels silky but isn't completely see-through. No mention of a potatoey smell, which is a good thing -- we remember only too well the starchy stink of our fingers after messing about with bits of raw potato in biology. That was also the last time we used the word 'turgid,' sadly.
No potatoes were harmed in the making of the packaging: it's created from waste tubers. By which we mean potatoes that were going to waste, not Jake Paul.
The Grauniad says the material will break down into nothing within six months in the right environment, although what happens to it if it goes into landfill is unclear.
Other papers are expected to follow suit, even though it'll cost them more money and everyone knows print journalism doesn't make any anymore. So expect to pay more for your eco-friendly news dispatch: the Guardian has just gone up by 30p on Saturdays (to £3.20) and 20p for weekdays and the Observer (now £2.20 and £3.20).
The move to potato starch packaging means we've come full circle from the days fish and chips came wrapped up in newspaper, to the news coming wrapped up in chips. How the tables have turned.
Main image: Michael Brunton-Spall via Flickr CC