In these times of economic downturn all enterprises - from corporation to freelancers, from small traders to charities - are trying to get their message/product/service in front of the consumers' eye. For many, especially the smaller businesses that means sending off flyers, catalogues and samples to promote themselves.

Sending post the eco-friendly way sounds somewhat of an oxymoron but needn't be. Some ways to green up your mail is to use a carbon neutral postal service, print letters, catalogues and the like on FSC recycled paper using a waterless offset printer and only send to loyal customers or those that have requested it. This last point should reduce wastage somewhat.

Where you may struggle is if you wish to mail out a catalogue completely naked i.e. no plastic wrap. Royal Mail regulations mean that in certain areas you have no choice but to wrap catalogues in a protective material.

You can get degradable polythene bags which many would assume are a better option than conventional poly plastic as they could break down in landfill more easily. But it appears this is not the best option after all. Biodegradable polythene bags cannot be recycled. They act as a pollutant in the recycling process. It's a shame indeed as all those bags will go direct to landfill and though biodegradable will still take many years to break down.

A company called Polyprint Mailing Films who provide recycled polythene bags. It's quite great - they turn them into refuse bags, fertiliser sacks, chairs, benches and tables. Polyprint are the only polythene producer that accepts waste polythene for recycling from the public or organisations.

You can recycle your polythene bags by posting them to Polyprint. For more information on how to do this, visit Polyprint's website. One tip - make sure you remove all labels before you send as they'll more likely survive the sorting process.