Ethical packaging doesn’t have to cost the earth

Ethical packaging doesn’t have to cost the earth

Ethical packaging is something we talk about a lot in the #EthicalHour Facebook community. For brands, finding ethical options can be difficult and for consumers understanding how to dispose of packaging they receive is important. But where do you start? Luckily this week’s #EthicalHour sponsor Priory Press Packaging are here to help us learn more…

We’re Priory Press Packaging – and we believe pretty impressive ethical packaging doesn’t have to cost the earth.

What do we mean by this? Well, maybe we should tell you a little bit about ourselves first.

We design, print, and produce carton board packaging for a wide range of markets – from food to beauty to gadgets. We’re also a BRC AA Grade approved packaging supplier for the multiples – such as Tesco, Aldi, Asda and the like.

We’ve been on the go since 1976, and we’ve integrated ethics into our processes from day dot at no extra expense to our customers. Why? Because we think that whether you’re a start-up, Suki Tea or Supervalu, you and your customers should benefit from responsibly produced packaging, that doesn’t charge extra for ethical. We had humble beginnings as a commercial printer, with a brief stint in producing labels, but we found our true calling in producing carton board packaging for start-up businesses (initially in Northern Ireland) that grew up to be extremely successful domestic brands that now export worldwide.

For us – carton board is the way forward. It is a versatile material that can package, protect, and promote just about anything, and when you opt for carton board you don’t compromise on quality – you gain it. Our packaging is manufactured by renewable energy powered machines, printed on FSC sustainably sourced board with reusable and recycled printing plates using vegetable-based inks.  Our processes achieve the same quality of packaging produced without these eco-accolades and succeed it.

On its own, our packaging is 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable. But what about foiled packaging or window-patched boxes? Our foil supplier Foil Co conducted two independent studies on the recyclability and biodegradability of foiled packaging, to discover foil has no effect on the biodegradability of foiled packaging, and it can be recycled.

As for window patching, we recently trialled a biodegradable window patch film for our customer Eye Peace upon their request and we’re happy to make a habit of it and offer it permanently to our customers if it means reducing waste. We’re also in the process of producing 200 completely compostable window-patched boxes to send to supermarkets throughout the UK for World Earth Day – so we guess you could say we’re serious about securing solutions for plastic-free aisles and putting our forward-thinking packaging in front of the ‘decision makers’.

Yet, achieving ‘ethical packaging’ is an all-encompassing practice, and it’s not just about what happens to the packaging after it’s been used as one #ethicalhour visitor pointed out –

But recycling is not enough on its own, and is actually pretty low down the waste hierarchy – shouldn’t we also be looking for ways to refuse and reduce packaging too?’ 


Yes, Jen we should. We’d be lying if we said that packaging isn’t necessary – it is our bread and butter after all. The truth is packaging can be dramatically reduced if we go back to the basics.

Packaging, at its core, serves four main purposes – to protect the product, to provide information about the product, to sell / market the product and to differentiate it from other products. Unfortunately, this sometimes gets overlooked, and that’s why on occasion we see packaging-gone-mad M&S examples of coconuts being wrapped in plastic.

We’re proud to say our carton board packaging is always purposeful – whether it’s a gift box to protect & promote a glass candle, or a sleeve that stops your hand-knitted blanket from unravelling in the shop – it’s there for a reason. We’re equally as proud to say we have previously refused projects where we believed the packaging was wholly unnecessary and wasteful. We’re here for purposeful packaging, that doesn’t cost the earth, maintains its high quality whilst having its ethics engrained, and whether you’re a business owner, a supplier, or a consumer – you should be too.

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