The woman is reading a book.

Helsinki City Library to test books without plastic coating

Helsinki City Library is to trial a more eco-friendly way of processing books and leave a test batch of books without plastic coating. The pilot, starting in early March, is designed to test how well books without plastic coating fare in active loan use.

The experiment aims at preserving nature by finding ways to reduce our plastic consumption. In 2019, libraries in Helsinki acquired nearly 140,000 books, which means that libraries consume a considerable amount of plastic. Purchasing books without plastic coating is also more affordable and new books find their way to eager readers more quickly.

The trial will start in early March and involve 120 books. The books will be retrieved towards the end of August, and their condition will be inspected. Customers borrowing these books are also asked to provide feedback during the trial.

As a general rule, all city libraries use plastic coating on their books. However, Kuopio City Library has been able to provide some good tips on reducing plastic use and share its experiences, as the library stopped covering its new books with plastic last year.