Sunday, 11 September 2016

Paper at Cartamundi

BFTF was thinking about buying a couple of decks of "Ace Trumps" after seeing them on the shelves of the toy section...

...but decided to leave them be as was not sure the card used was from a sustainable source.

Bit worried Cartamundi are cool with unsustainable deforestation

The Cartamundi website has an environment section but only says this :

"8. Environmental Impact - Cartamundi maintains a commitment to sound environmental programs and practices and encourages the reduction and recycling of waste. Facilities must comply with all applicable laws relating to the environment and dispose of toxic materials in a controlled and safe manner. To that end, Cartamundi seeks to conduct business with Facilities who are equally dedicated to pursuing continuous efforts to improve the compatibility of its operations with the environment."

This is disturbing, as paper from forests that are unsustainably logged contributes very significantly to climate change, deforestation and loss of ecosystems around the world - and conversely, the use of sustainable sources, such as recycled paper or trees logged under forest management schemes such as those of the FSC.

Sent some messages :

Via :

"Was going to buy two packs of AceTrumps, but didn't because could not see any evidence that card used pulp from a sustainable source (e.g. FSC or recycled). So I'm presuming that card in your products is from unsustainably (possibly illegally) logged forests, and is contributing to the climate change, deforestation and loss of habitats that that unsustainable and illegal logging causes. Nor can I see any mention of sustainable paper sourcing in your environmental policy."

Via :

"....That Tesco is quite happy to stock such products does not give me a warm feeling. Would suggest you contact Cartamundi and ask them where their card comes from. "

Update 12th Sep 2016
Impressed with the response from Cartamundi!

They bounced back certification for ISO9001, ISO14001 and FSC - via Twitter, a blog response and an email!

Cartamundi ISO9001 and 14001 certification

Cartamundi FSC certification

Cartamundi environmental standard

So, happy ending?

Well, yes, and no...

Great to see that Cartamundi has FSC certification. BFTF would not hesitate to buy those Ace Trumps (or other Cartamundi products) if seeing them in the store tomorrow.

And No...
Bit disturbed that Cartamundi think that ISO9001 or ISO14001 (an "environmental management" quality standard) provide any evidence that they use sustainably sourced card. So far as BFTF can tell all these standards do is ensure that the company has clear documented procedures and that it follows them. The policy itself could be very unsustainable indeed - but at least it would be written down!

Certainly neither of these standards mandate the use of FSC or recycled paper, or the use of paper that meets any equivalent environmental standard. For a company to suggest that possesion of these standards in any way guarantees the sustainability of the paper they use is the kind of greenwwash that makes BFTF very suspicious of a company.

Also, BFTF does not keep a mental list of which companies have good paper policies, so in six months time if BFTF sees the same product in a store, it is entirely possible that BFTF will have forgotton this episode and will send another email to Cartamundi, asking them exactly the same questions!

Even if BFTF does remember the current conversation, how would BFTF know, in a years time, that Cartamundi still has the same policy?

So, please Cartamundi, if you're using FSC card, put a note about it on the box!

Related Content
How BFTF reacts to product packaging messages
Sustainably sourced Christmas cards
Challenging Fire Angel on sustainability
Sustainable paper at a local mosque
Hey Jamie! Where's the sustainable packaging?
FSC in some toys at Tesco Sustainable paper at Orion Books
Tesco, Sainsbury's and Oxford notepads
FSC at Random House


  1. Hi Ash, Thank you for your concerns in our products and your interests in the materials we use. I would like to confirm that we are FSC accredited along with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

    If you have any further questions about our products please let us know.

  2. Thanks for this feedback, have updated the post with your certs and some additional comments.