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Maped Helix pledges to reduce plastic packaging

By Mark Hayhurst 13 Mar 2019

Maped Helix, the Black Country-based global stationery giant, has pledged to make significant reductions to the use of single use plastic in its packaging as part of its ongoing commitment to education and the environment.

Combining tradition with innovation, Maped Helix produces over 25 million units of home, school and office stationery each year which is distributed in more than 80 countries worldwide.

Top selling product, the Oxford Maths Set, has for many years been packaged in a plastic free sleeve and the company is now working towards ensuring all ten of its best-selling Oxford products are in plastic free packaging by next year.

Gray Richmond, UK Managing Director at Maped Helix, said: “It’s really important for us to create packaging that does not use single use plastic and is recyclable, whilst still properly protecting and displaying our products during the distribution and sales process.

“Our short-term aim is to remove single use plastics from at least 50 per cent of our products by 2021.”

As part of Maped Helix’s new product development process, special attention is paid to the packaging components involved and options to be plastic free, but it’s an additional challenge finding alternative packaging for long-time products.

Gray added: “Our new Oxford pen range which launches this year has been carefully designed to feature only plastic free packaging and includes ballpoint pens, fountain pens, gel pens, rollerball pens and ink cartridges.

“Many of our office products and colouring packs are also in 100 per cent cardboard packaging, but it’s a trickier task for multipack stationery sets, erasers and pencil sharpeners which are currently in blister and clamshell packaging for display purposes.

“The industry as a whole must embrace change in the way we package products. Over many years’ infrastructure has been developed that is focused towards using plastic in packaging. This will need to be revolutionised at great pace to hit our short and long term targets but we are very much committed to doing so.

“While forward thinking retailers are embracing the concept of becoming plastic free, inevitably some will be late adopters, perhaps maintaining a focus on price points and margins. But Maped Helix is hopeful that by working together with both manufacturers and retailers on alternative solutions, the company can work towards single use plastic packaging for stationery becoming a thing of the past.

“Our role in plastic reduction is not only environmental but educational. It’s important for us to inspire our customers and communicate the importance of being environmentally conscious and socially responsible purchasers. We want to lead the way in eradicating single use plastic packaging and it’s essential to garner the support of manufacturers and retailers to do this.”

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