Finding a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging


With sustainability continuing to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds when making their purchase decisions, it’s never been more important for companies to show positive changes. Alternative substrates produced from recycled, or recyclable materials, are some of the many options available for consideration.

The challenge

blp was approached by a well-known FMCG client wanting to remove all plastic packaging from one of their bestselling product ranges.

The challenges were clear from the start – although the packaging needed to be strong and attractive, above all, it needed to be secure. The product was a high value consumable, with the current plastic packaging offering protection against theft. The main concern was that any sort of carton board would make it easier for the packaging to be tampered with.

The blp solution

Our packaging development team set to work, designing a custom prototype. Using solid folding carton board removed the need for plastic – not only is it a flexible substrate but it’s easy to recycle after use. blp is an FSC® certified organisation, guaranteeing to source our materials responsibly and this assurance addressed any sustainability concerns.

The product would no longer be on view to the consumer, so high-quality product imagery was printed onto the packaging, with soft touch finish and foiling to make it stand out among competitor products. 

To meet security concerns, the development team created multiple elements that would work together, making the product less susceptible to theft. Creating an interlocking design between the fitment and the outer packaging would make it more difficult to remove the product inside. 

The fitment was designed to hold the product snugly enough to make it difficult for hasty removal, but flexible enough for the consumer to be able to easily remove it. The inclusion of a specially designed ‘euroslot’ allowed the packaging to hang in-store and be strong enough to prevent it being torn from its holder. 

The results

We created a standout piece of packaging that exceeded the client’s expectations. Using solid folding carton board removed the need for any plastic components and had the added benefit of being completely recyclable after use. The final design was fit for purpose in terms of product security and also attractive to the consumer, instantly drawing their attention to the product. 

Our people are our biggest asset

With a can-do attitude, our team is completely proactive and responsive. Our wealth of knowledge is unrivalled and passion for our craft is core to everything we do.

Paul Stephenson

Key Account Manager

Cameron Butler

Key Account Manager

Leighton Hopper

Client Manager

Jill McCartney

Senior Client Manager

Sharon Sloanes

Client Manager

Sophie McNeal

Client Manager

Gavin Quinn

New Business Sales Manager

Katie Laidlaw

Senior Client Manager

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Waking up to our impact on the planet

From ‘plastic’ oceans to deforestation, we see the impact pollution and unsustainable processes have on the environment every day. As a business, we’re committed to showing responsible behaviour and increasingly focussing our attention on minimising the impact our processes have on the planet. We are continually looking for ways to become more sustainable in the management of our business but also amongst our staff, from recording and monitoring our energy use and introducing LED lighting to reduce GHG emissions, to installing recycling points throughout our factory and offices for paper and card. It’s all going in the right direction and even small changes can make a difference.

What we’re doing

An effective environmental management system

We are proud holders of the ISO 14001 certification. This international standard makes sure we have a robust environmental management system in place and helps improve performance and compliance. It includes things like our environmental policy, reducing waste and evaluating our operational procedures. 

We’re FSC® certified

FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) is dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management and carefully manages forests to make sure they increase in size each year. No tropical rain forests are destroyed in order to make paper and board. FSC certification brings social benefits to workers and local people, and environmental benefits for biodiversity and ecosystems.

Products made with wood and paper from FSC certified forests carry the ‘tick tree’ logo. FSC inspects and tracks timber and pulp right through the chain, from an FSC-certified forest, to a paper manufacturer and then to a printer that has FSC Chain-of-Custody certification. 

Monitoring our equipment

We continually monitor the use of our machinery to identify any areas for improvement, already reducing our carbon impact by 35 tonnes. 

Our printing presses are alcohol-free. As well as reducing waste, it’s kinder to the environment, plus, we use environmentally friendly inks, which is particularly important for the food industry. 

Supporting the community around us

As a local North East business, giving back to our community is at the heart of blp. We sponsor a variety of worthy causes through fundraising activities and are proud to be a corporate sponsor of ‘Street Zero’. This brilliant charity is on a mission to end rough sleeping in Newcastle by 2022. ‘Street Zero’ has already helped reduce rough sleeping in our city by 74% which is a truly remarkable achievement (Jan 2020-21).

Find out more about this brilliant organisation and their worthwhile cause at:


Frequently asked questions

Yes, blp can provide a range of capabilities under one roof, offering huge benefits to our customers.

Yes. We offer a range of designs and sizes in different thicknesses on a variety of substrates. From specialist colours to custom apertures, we have the in-house capabilities to meet some of the most complex needs.

Not all customers need large quantities. Our flexible approach to manufacturing means we can provide custom products with no minimum order quantity.

Because of fluctuations in demand for certain substrates, our lead times vary for each project. To make sure you receive your completed products in your required timescales, we’ll advise you of lead times at the very beginning of your project.

We offer a full range of in-house services that complement each other. This means we can take care of every aspect of your project. And everything’s done under one roof, meaning we can add additional services if needed. From printed packaging and co-packing to arranging distribution, our flexible capabilities mean we can support your evolving needs throughout your project.

Our range of complementary services means we can offer you a complete service solution for your project. Whether you need packaging development, co-packing, print and mailing services or the full-service offering, our team of experts are on hand to advise you at every stage of your project.

Get in touch with blp

Got questions on our services? Complete the form opposite and we’ll get in touch with you.