The Castelli Appeel Notebook - The Green Alternative
It’s fair to say that recycled stationery has never really caught on in our experience. It’s a vicious circle as without the demand there just isn’t the development of the right product, and without the right product to woo people there just isn’t enough of an audience to get companies creating decent products. For a paper-based industry it does seem odd that there has been a lack of a quality recycled product to offer. However we are now seeing companies have sustainability written into their requirements so we are finally turning the corner.
Into this market has stepped a product that stops you in your tracks. A product that makes you smile at the story it can tell. The Castelli Appeel, a notebook with its roots in unwanted apple pulp. There is little choice out there, so the Appeel books stand to get all the attention and rightly so. It is a notebook that can compete with more popular options on its own right.
So what is an Appeel book and why is it so different? There are two obvious points here – the fact that it is made from discarded apple pulp, and the fact that it is actually a very good product. First, how is it made?
The books have a special paper called Crush, which is made from 15% apple pulp that would otherwise be wasted. It’s not 100% apple paper, so don’t be overly seduced by the marketing on this one. But it is 15% apple pulp as well as 30% post-consumer waste, so that’s nearly half the content of the paper made from sustainable sources. Further credentials can be found by the offset of the remaining carbon footprint with a reforestation project in Uganda.
The cover is a material called Frumat, which is 50% apple waste and 50% PU. Again, not the 100% apple skin waste you might hope for but a very impressive 50% - most books simply have a PU cover.
Even the packaging is made from cereal product residues.
We have a background in fountain pens and this puts a great demand on the quality of paper. Historically recycled paper was a disaster for ink pens, so you can imagine our delight when we found the Crush paper was actually a quality product, one that could handle ink without the bleeding you’d normally find. Now for the B2B market this is of little consequence, except that it still means the book is a quality product, a cut above the normal recycled notebooks you will find.
For B2B we needed to see the results of branding and here the Appeel book scores very highly too – blind embossing works a treat creating a slightly darker mark when embossed. It can also handle digital print which allows for all sorts of design options.
We loved the story of the Appeel notebooks when we first discovered them, and we like them even more now that we have put one through its paces. The final seal of approval was seeing the results of branding. We highly recommend the Appeel books to anyone looking for a green alternative. No it isn’t 100% green, but it is a huge step forward compared to the alternatives whilst retaining the necessary quality.