Plastics & Packaging

Sustainable product design and packaging.

Packaging plays a vital role in protecting products in transit and when it reaches stores. But certain types of packaging, especially single-use plastic, can create waste, polluting our oceans and environment. As part of our sustainability commitment and with growing demand from our customers and consumers to address plastic waste, we’re doing everything we can to optimise our packaging for recyclability and use more sustainable and recycled materials.

Going Naked: Removing cello bags from our brand line cards

Our industry has typically used plastic packaging, an outer sleeve known as a cello bag, to protect cards and keep them in a good, saleable condition. These bags are not currently recyclable, and too often become waste. And with more than 50% of consumers stating plastic-free packaging was important to them in 2019, we’ve investigated many alternative types of packaging or ways to keep cards and envelopes together. Where possible, we will work to remove it completely.

To tackle the cello bag challenge, we work closely with our suppliers and key customers to find alternatives to single-use plastic wrapping, as part of our broader efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging. We explored lots of options and listened to our customers’ and consumers’ needs. Above all, we wanted to ensure that our cards would retain their same high quality while offering our customers a more environmentally-conscious choice. Together, we decided to trial a new option – unwrapping our cards so they could be displayed in their naked form.

Since introducing our ‘Going Naked’ initiative in 2019, we’ve removed over 250 tonnes of cello bags from popular single cards, with consumers embracing the opportunity to buy unwrapped cards for friends and loved ones.

"When Blue Planet highlighted the damage plastic is doing to our oceans, it was a call to action for our industry. The issue of plastic waste is definitely getting the attention and action it now deserves in our industry and beyond. By working with our suppliers to go naked on key product lines, we aim to contribute to the global push to stem the tide of plastic waste."

Ceri Stirland, Customer and Channel Director, UK Greetings