Environmental Benefits of Repurposing Vinyl Banners and Billboards - Part 2

Last week in part 1 of our 2 part blog series we talked about why companies should repurpose vinyl banners and billboards and also gave examples of how other companies are using eco-friendly products.

In part 2, learn the environmental benefits of using eco-friendly marketing products.

About Relan

Our story began in 1995. Relan, which according to the Urban Dictionary means "someone who is cool at such a level that one would always want to be around them," was started to keep vinyl banners out of the landfill and provide sustainable, "cool" fashion statements. Today we are using these functional pieces to tell stories that engage more organizations and more individuals with sustainability.

To date, we have helped our partners keep over 450,000 square feet of material out of landfills, close the loop on a current waste stream, and benefit their triple bottom line.

Our goal is to help organizations reach their sustainability goal and drive the triple bottom line through repurposing old marketing materials so that they can tell their sustainability story by putting unique, eco-friendly products in the hands of their customers.


Blue Man Group billboard and upcycled bags by Relan


What Happens To Old Banners and Billboards?

The ones you pass day in and day out on your commute to work? Or the banners that surround the field of your favorite sports team?

You may see the same billboard or banner for a month or for several years, but in each case, their fate is most often the same: they end up piled in landfills.

In fact, over 600,000 tons of non-recyclable vinyl alone finds its way to landfills each year. Most organizations do not see this side of the marketing life cycle and its impact on the environment, so the banners and billboards continue to pile up.

Often, third parties and event companies handle billboards so organizations are not considering this their waste stream. Consequently, these numbers are not accounted for in the organization’s zero waste.

repurposing banners and billboards

What are the Environmental Benefits of Repurposing Vinyl Banners and Billboards?

Environmental Benefit #1 - Energy Reduction

Repurposing saves energy by eliminating the need to make materials from scratch. By repurposing banners and billboards, you are saving on energy required to extract, transport and refine the natural resources that go into the production and manufacturing of vinyl products.

Using repurposed products instead of purchasing new ones gives your fans and customers unique products with less energy.

Environmental Benefit #2 - Reduce Solid Waste

Choosing to reuse materials that would've otherwise been thrown away lessens the amount of garbage sent to the landfill. By reusing the materials, it helps conserve the precious natural resources that we have left on our planet for future generations.

Let’s face it, nothing is free. No matter your organization's home state or what your industry, hauling away solid waste costs money. Why not put that money to use by upcycling your vinyl banners and billboards into new products?

repurpose banners and billboards

Environmental Benefit #3 - Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Reusing materials automatically reduces your carbon footprint since the materials do not have to do through the production process. When your material arrives at Relan, we take what you send us, clean it, cut it, and upcycle it into new products using your existing printed materials.

To further reduce your carbon footprint, companies can purchase carbon offsets to compensate, or offset, for greenhouse gas emissions made elsewhere, from transportation, electricity use, and other sources.

Relan purchases carbon offsets from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for the transportation used to get us the needed material to create and ship products. Do you do the same? You can!

Environmental Benefit #4 - Reduce the Use of Virgin Materials

Virgin Materials are materials that have not been previously used, consumed or subjected to processing. Since billboards and banners have already been used once, twice, maybe 100 times, we can now take this processed material, change its shape and upcycle it and save from producing new materials.

What Can Your Company Do?

Take Part in the Circular Economy

The circular economy has the potential to solve the world’s growing waste problem by eliminating the very concept of waste altogether.

Besides reducing your carbon footprint through energy and transportation efficiency and reusing materials already in production, you can also can help minimize the impact on the environment by taking part in the circular economy.

Companies like Thread, a Pittsburgh-based Certified B Corporation, are embracing this concept. They create "responsible fabric" by transforming plastic bottles found in the streets of Haiti and Honduras.

repurposing vinyl banners and billboards

Go Local

Relan is committed to working with the local community. Every item that Relan creates is cleaned, designed, cut, and sewn in Minnesota using minimal water and eco-friendly soaps for cleaning.

We purchase our materials and supplies from local and U.S. manufacturers and are dedicated to making the products with upcycled and recycled components.

repurpose vinyl banners and billboards

Become Zero-Waste Certified

In our January blog, we outlined how companies can save money, get more efficient, manage their risk, reduce litter and pollution, and cut greenhouse gases by becoming becoming zero-waste certified.

You can even download a Zero Waste Facility Certification Summary Checklist to get you started. Zero Waste Certified businesses not only reduce litter, pollution, and cut greenhouse gases, they also reinvest resources locally, create jobs, and add more value for their community. And Relan can help YOUR business become one!

Relan Wrap-Up

Repurposing your banners and billboards with Relan means protecting the earth and keeping your materials from ending up in the landfill. It also means not having to worry about finding new materials for your branded products.

Contact us to let us know how we can help your organization achieve its sustainability goals in a unique and beautiful way.

We take materials you already have and put them to back to good use. We, in turn, upcycle them into branded products for your company to be used as employee incentives, promotional products like tote bags, office products, sports & outdoor gear, and more!

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