The U.S. Postal Service’s new business plan calls on customers and stakeholders to provide it with creative ideas that keep mail an attractive communications tool.
Innovative Packaging has one: The supplier of polymer-based substrates to the direct mail and publishing industries has developed a new generation of poly film that offers the properties required for letter-sorter machinability.
LetteRap is different from envelopes and other packaging in that it allows recipients to see dynamic graphics on brochures inside the package, catalogs or promotional pieces through clear windows. Bruce Hollander, president of Innovative Packaging says the clear wrap doesn’t have the costs associated with die-cut or patched windows.
Cost comparison of the two different substrates has shown that in most cases, polymer wrapped packages are more economical than paper envelopes, Hollander says. What’s more, since the poly encapsulates the mail piece, mailers would not be required to use tabs.
Innovative Packaging is eager to get approval for LetteRap, Hollander says. “We have been waiting for two years for the promised test to prove the machinability and qualification of this format.”
The Mailers Technical Advisory Committee Work Group 129, which was formed in March 2009 to consider ways to remove obstacles to mail volume growth, gave LetteRap its stamp of approval this past spring.
And based upon a meeting in April at the National Postal Forum with Deputy Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe (who will succeed John E. Potter as Postmaster General in December), Hollander says testing should begin within the next month. If this format is approved, initial indications are that about 1.3 billion mail pieces could be mailed in this format.