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Monkeying around with sustainable solutions

Chester Zoo has been able to get closer to its environmental goals through the considered use of certain signage.

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Chester Zoo has incorporated sustainability into its signage

Having first partnered with the zoo in 2013, Signs Express Chester has played a major role in what signage it has used. Having started off with one banner, the company is now its largest supplier.

With over 1.9 million visitors making the trip to see the 27,000 animals each year, wayfinding and signage plays a big part in making the visitor experience an interesting and informative one.

Conservation and sustainability are at the heart of Chester Zoo as it is both a conservation and education charity which works to prevent extinction.

Last year the zoo signed up to a plastic reduction scheme and looking for new ways to reduce its footprint on the planet, turned to Signs Express Chester for a signage solution.

One of the key materials used to achieve this goal is the Endutex manufactured Terra Banner, distributed in the UK by Soyang Europe. The banner is a PVC-free, 220gsm polyester banner with a special resin coating.

We’d been using PVC banners for some time as they were long-lived and also met our budget requirements, however environmentally they didn’t meet our needs

Fred Howat, senior exhibition and interpretation officer at Chester Zoo, explains: “We’d been using PVC banners for some time as they were long-lived and also met our budget requirements, however environmentally they didn’t meet our needs, so we began searching for a recyclable option.

“Through some searches and previous contact with Soyang Europe, we discovered the Terra Banner product, which aligned well with our requirements. Our close working relationship with Signs Express Chester allowed us to request they order some in for us to test.”

The lightweight nature and strong colour and clarity of the banners were a hit with the zoo in terms of price and durability.

Howat continues: “They’re lightweight, have great colour and clarity and are simple to install. They’ve since become our standard product for any banner requirements we have around the zoo, with PVC-based signage being gradually phased out.”

According to Tom Lloyd, production manager at Signs Express Chester the banner has become a “go-to product” partly due to its eco benefits, but also due to it being easy to print and finish and simple to install. Something Lloyd describes as “a sign-maker’s dream”.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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