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Sustainability Matters - November Newsletter

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), News, Office, Office, UK

This month's newsletter you will find:

  • Exclusive offers - Wrap up the year with savings on our great packaging range
  • Eco Spotlight -How can you make Black Friday greener?
  • Packaging Heroes - The award winning cleaning products that are better for the planet
  • Proud to be B - B Corp of the Month - Meet the food delivery company committed to environmental responsibility
  • Brighten your day - How one man single-handedly saved a rare butterfly species
  • Join the conversation - Green Rush Reality: A wake-up call for business leaders - Wednesday 6th December


Eco Spotlight

Beyond Discounts: Eco-Friendly Black Friday Practices

sale shop window

The Black Friday landscape is changing where the excitement of shopping meets the responsibility of sustainability. In recent times, consumer behaviuor has undergone a remarkable shift, with sustainability taking centre stage in purchasing decisions. Traditionally a period of frenzied shopping, the trends of sustainable packaging and eco-conscious choices are reshaping the retail landscape.

Sustainable packaging is no longer a niche concept but a mainstream expectation. Consumers are actively seeking eco-friendly options, pushing businesses to adopt packaging solutions that align with environmental values. Studies reveal that 43% of consumers prefer brands with environmentally sustainable practices, with a significant focus on packaging choices. Nearly 70% are willing to pay more for products in sustainable packaging, and 35% would buy more sustainably packaged products if available.

In the era of conscious consumerism, shoppers are becoming more discerning, seeking brands that reflect their values. The demand for sustainable and ethically sourced products has driven businesses to embrace eco-friendly practices, from sourcing raw materials to implementing sustainable packaging solutions. Black Friday, historically synonymous with excess and consumerism, is undergoing a transformation as consumers seek meaningful purchases aligned with their values.

However, Black Friday poses environmental challenges due to the sheer volume of purchases and traditional packaging practices that contribute to excess waste and carbon emissions. Navigating the shopping season sustainably is not only possible but increasingly necessary.

Here are some actions businesses can take to be more environmentally friendly this Black Friday:

  1. Right Size Packaging: Prioritize packaging that precisely fits product dimensions to reduce waste and transportation emissions. This approach enhances efficiency throughout the supply chain.
  2. Eliminating Plastic: Take a stand against plastic by exploring easily recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard.
  3. Low Carbon Shipping: Embrace low carbon alternatives like locker boxes and click-and-collect models to minimize individual home deliveries and contribute to a more sustainable last-mile delivery process.
  4. Communicate Recycling: Educate consumers on recycling symbols and guidelines to facilitate responsible waste disposal. Clear communication enhances recycling literacy and reduces contamination in recycling streams.
  5. Choose Low Harm Products: Opt for planet-friendly packaging materials, such as paper mailing bags and paper tape. Explore alternatives like Puma's shoe box that doubles as a bag, reducing plastic waste.
  6. Innovative Packaging Solutions: Highlight brands like Lush, which designs products that avoid the need for packaging or use recycled materials that can be recycled or composted.

So, let's redefine the narrative. We all love a bargain, but it's not just about finding the best deals anymore; it's about making mindful choices that resonate with our commitment to a sustainable future. By embracing right-sized packaging, eliminating plastic, opting for low carbon models, communicating recycling practices, and choosing eco-friendly products, we have the power to transform Black Friday into Green Friday.

Oceans of Plastic

In case you missed it, last Wednesday was Oceans of Plastic, a global campaigned aiming to shine a light on the pressing issue of plastic pollution in our oceans. The figures are pretty grim. According to recent data, it is predicted that if current trends continue on the same trajectory, the amount of plastic in the oceans would look to nearly triple by 2040. This not only poses a threat to marine life, but also raises concerns for human health. Unfortunately, our oceans are becoming a bin for waste including the largest plastic debris to the smallest microplastics.

plastic bottle in ocean

So, what can businesses do to help? Currently, plastic packaging in the UK accounts for nearly 70% of our plastic waste. Choosing sustainable, plastic-free packaging isn't just a trend; it's a vital step to protect marine life and our ecosystems. 

  1. Consider using paper tape over plastic tape - Each year, we consume 915 billion meters of plastic tape. Enough to travel to Mars and back, twice. When using cardboard or paper packaging, make your despatches 100% plastic-free and easily recyclable.
  2. Ditch the poly mailers for recyclable paper mailing bags - Whilst poly mailers are often labelled as recyclable, actually recycling LDPE is not as straightforward as it seems. Over 95% of soft plastics generated by e-commerce businesses for consumers end up in landfills or the open environment. Consider switching to paper mailing bags for a greener solution to LDPE packaging.
  3. Use phenol-free thermal printer labels - Did you know one of the most popular shipping labels, thermal labels, often contains a BPA coating, which breaks down into microplastics that end up in our waterways and oceans - try opting for a BPA-free alternative instead.

Packaging Heroes

Introducing our Packaging Heroes feature, where we shine a spotlight on brands making a difference, and this month, it's all about Smol. They're on a mission to revolutionize the way we buy cleaning products, offering award-winning formulations that work brilliantly in your home while being better for the planet.

smol products

What sets Smol apart is their commitment to sustainable packaging. They've achieved an impressive 77% reduction in plastic with their recyclable and compostable materials. From fully home-compostable tablet sachets to PET plastic bottles made from 100% post-consumer recycled material, Smol ensures that their packaging choices prioritize the planet.

Their dedication extends to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved boxes, sourced from responsibly managed forests, underlining their commitment to biodiversity, zero deforestation, and fair practices. Smol's plastic-free laundry and dishwasher packs, a world-first, have already saved a significant amount of plastic, leading the charge in plastic-free solutions within household cleaning.

Taking a bold step towards reducing single-use plastic waste, Smol introduces refillable surface spray bottles for life, putting an end to the cycle of disposable cleaning bottles. Crafted from 100% recycled PET, these bottles not only help in waste reduction but also contribute to a circular economy.

Smol are a brand that proves sustainable swaps can be effortless, accessible, and affordable, making a significant impact on our environmental footprint.

B Corp of the month – Proud to be B

Abel & Cole, a standout in the food delivery industry, is dedicated to providing organic, seasonal, and sustainable food options. Their commitment to environmental responsibility is evident in their practices, with a remarkable 77% reduction in plastic usage within their boxes. Customers can customise their Fruit & Veg Boxes to meet their preferences, offering a personalised and flexible approach to organic eating. Not only does Abel & Cole prioritize the quality of their products, but they also ensure reliable carbon-neutral deliveries, minimising their impact on the environment.

Setting themselves apart from conventional food suppliers, Abel & Cole takes significant strides to reduce their carbon footprint. They proudly boast zero air freight, opting for sustainable delivery methods to cover fewer food miles. Additionally, the company goes the extra mile by actively collecting hard-to-recycle plastics directly from customers' doors, showcasing a commitment to closing the loop on plastic waste. Abel & Cole's holistic approach to sustainability, from product sourcing to eco-friendly packaging and delivery methods, reflects a genuine dedication to providing a conscious and earth-friendly food experience.

abel and cole


Brighten your day

Tim Wong, a senior biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, played a crucial role in reviving the California Pipevine swallowtail butterfly species in San Francisco. Recognising the species' decline in his city, Wong embarked on creating a pollinator habitat in his backyard, discovering that native butterflies needed assistance. Although the butterfly was still common in specific areas, it had vanished from San Francisco due to a scarcity of its host plant, the California Pipevine.

Wong, determined to help, obtained clippings of the plant from the San Francisco Botanical Garden and constructed a screen enclosure for outdoor mating conditions. He carefully sourced 20 caterpillars, allowing them to feed as a group on the Pipevine plant. After pupating and forming chrysalises, Wong continued caring for the butterflies as they hatched, laid eggs, and raised new caterpillars in the habitat. Wong emphasizes that conservation efforts can begin anywhere, highlighting the potential for individuals to improve native fauna habitats in their own backyards.

Join the conversation

Green Rush Reality: A wake-up call for business leaders – Wednesday 6th December

Get ready for a thought-provoking journey in the upcoming webinar, "Green Rush Reality: A Wake-Up Call for Business Leaders." In this session, we will take a look at the results of a survey involving 500 sales, marketing, and sustainability leaders. An eye-opening 63% of respondents acknowledge their contribution to greenwashing, raising questions about the authenticity of sustainability claims. Additionally, 62% express concerns about the credibility of their own sustainability messages. Join us as we discuss challenges businesses encounter in communicating their sustainability initiatives, providing valuable insights and strategies to navigate the complex landscape of sustainable business practices.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to gain actionable insights and foster genuine, impactful sustainability practices within your organization. Join us in redefining the conversation around sustainability in business.

event banner


Exclusive offers

‘Tis the season of giving, and we've got something special for you this December. Wrap up the year with a 10% discount on our fantastic range of bottle boxes. These aren't just boxes; they're a statement – a statement of your commitment to a greener planet. Our sustainable packaging not only protects your precious bottles but also takes a step towards a more eco-friendly world. Simply use the code BOTTLE10 at checkout to redeem your discount.

december promo

Green Friday: Navigating Black Friday Sustainably

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Black Friday / Cyber Monday, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), Offers/Promotions, Office, Seasonal Promotions, UK, Uncategorized

Welcome to a new era of Black Friday – one where the thrill of shopping meets the responsibility of sustainability. In recent years, a remarkable shift has occurred in consumer behaviour, with sustainability becoming a central focus in purchasing decisions. As we approach Black Friday, a traditionally frenzied shopping day, the trends of sustainable packaging and eco-conscious choices are emerging as powerful forces reshaping the retail landscape.

The Rise of Sustainable Packaging Trends

Sustainable packaging is no longer a niche concept but a mainstream expectation. Consumers are increasingly prioritising eco-friendly options, urging businesses to adopt packaging solutions that align with their environmental values. According to recent studies, 43% of consumers choose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values, with a notable emphasis on the packaging choices made by brands. Nearly 70% of consumers said they would pay more for a product in sustainable packaging, with 35% saying that would buy more sustainably packaged products if they could find them.

Consumer Values Shaping Shopping Behaviour

In the era of conscious consumerism, shoppers are becoming more discerning, seeking brands that reflect their values. The demand for sustainable and ethically sourced products has driven a surge in businesses embracing eco-friendly practices, from sourcing raw materials to implementing sustainable packaging solutions. Black Friday, historically synonymous with excess and consumerism, is undergoing a transformation as consumers seek meaningful purchases that align with their values.

Navigating Black Friday Sustainably

While Black Friday presents tremendous opportunities for businesses and consumers alike, it also comes with environmental challenges. The sheer volume of purchases, coupled with traditional packaging practices, can contribute to excess waste and carbon emissions. However, navigating Black Friday sustainably is not only possible but increasingly necessary.

So, what are some things you can do as a businsses to be more green this Black Friday?

Right Size Packaging

In our quest for sustainability, let's begin with a fundamental change – right-sized packaging. Oversized boxes not only contribute to excess waste but also increase transportation emissions. By prioritising packaging that precisely fits the dimensions of the product, we can significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation. This approach not only benefits the environment but also improves efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Consider the impact of right-sized packaging on your overall shipping strategy. This involves utilising packaging that is tailored to the specific dimensions of each product, minimising empty space and excess materials. The result is not just a reduction in waste but also a more sustainable approach to shipping that aligns with environmental consciousness.

right size packaging boxes

Eliminating Plastic

Plastic, the ubiquitous material of convenience, has a dark side that's impossible to ignore. It pollutes our oceans, endangers wildlife, and poses a severe threat to our planet. This peak season, take a stand against plastic by exploring alternatives that are both practical and eco-friendly.

Dive into the world of easily recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard. These options break down naturally, reducing the burden on landfills and ecosystems. They provide a viable alternative to traditional plastics without compromising on functionality or durability.

printed paper tape

Low Carbon Shipping

Traditional shipping methods are synonymous with high carbon emissions. This Black Friday, consider embracing low carbon alternatives that not only reduce your environmental impact but also enhance the convenience of the shopping experience.

Explore the benefits of locker box and click-and-collect models. These options minimise the need for individual home deliveries, consolidating packages for more efficient transportation. By opting for these low carbon solutions, consumers can enjoy the flexibility of choosing when and where to collect their purchases, contributing to a more sustainable last-mile delivery process.

amazon locker boxes

Communicate the Right Way to Recycle

Proper recycling begins with clear communication. As consumers, understanding recycling symbols and guidelines is crucial for responsible waste disposal. This Black Friday, let's shed light on the significance of clear markers on packaging.

Explore the variety of recycling symbols and what each signifies. Educate consumers on how to identify and interpret these symbols, empowering them to make informed decisions about the end-of-life disposal of packaging materials. By enhancing recycling literacy, we can collectively reduce contamination in recycling streams and promote a more efficient recycling process.

recycle me printed on box

Choose Low Harm Products - Planet-Friendly Packaging

Elevate your shopping experience by aligning your choices with products and packaging that prioritise the well-being of the planet. Why not explore the world of low harm products and eco-friendly packaging solutions?

Get stuck into the benefits of planet-friendly packaging materials, such as paper mailing bags instead of poly mailers, or paper tape over plastic tape . These alternatives offer a sustainable option without compromising on the protection and presentation of products. Brands such as Puma have designed a shoe box which doubles as a bag, eliminating the need for a bag on purchase and reducing plastic bag waste and environmental pollution.

puma packaging

Lush have cleverly created products that avoid the need for packaging at all, such as their shampoo, conditioner, and bubble bath bars. Any products that do need packaging, 90% of it is made from recycled materials and can be recycled or composted.

lush packaging

Let's redefine the narrative. It's not just about the thrill of finding the best deals; it's about making mindful choices that resonate with our commitment to a sustainable future. By embracing right-sized packaging, eliminating plastic, opting for low carbon models, communicating recycling practices, and choosing eco-friendly products, we have the power to transform Black Friday into Green Friday.

Sustainability Matters - October Newsletter

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), News, Office, UK

This edition will feature:

  • Eco Spotlight -Is LDPE recycling greenwashing? Do the markers ring true
  • Packaging Heroes - Unboxing Bamboo Clothing 
  • Proud to be B - B Corp of the Month - Making your morning cup of coffee more sustainable
  • Brighten your day - Discover how Autumn leaves make a healthier environment

Eco Spotlight

The question we've been looking at this month is Are LDPE Recycling Markers greenwashing? The truth about LDPE recycling in the UK..

Many brands discuss the recyclability of their products, but the reality can be quite different. For instance, poly mailers, often labelled as recyclable and eco-friendly, have come under scrutiny, especially when it comes to LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) plastic.

Plastic, including LDPE, is a versatile material used in various industries, including ecommerce packaging. However, the UK faces a significant challenge in recycling LDPE. Despite the booming ecommerce market and increased packaging demands, the recycling rates in England have remained stagnant, with limited capacity to recycle LDPE soft plastics. A startling fact is that less than one-third of the necessary capacity exists in the UK to efficiently recycle LDPE.

The current UK recycling infrastructure doesn't adequately handle LDPE waste, with limited local authority collection for LDPE plastic film. In fact, a significant portion of plastic recycling from the UK is shipped overseas due to the domestic infrastructure's limitations. While LDPE packaging is popular, recycling rates for LDPE, especially soft plastics, are disappointingly low, with over 95% ending up in landfills or the open environment.

In contrast, over 95% of paper packaging can be recycled, with a recycling rate of 71% in the UK. Paper recycling infrastructure is well-established and accessible. The solution lies in reducing plastic usage and opting for more sustainable packaging choices like paper and cardboard, such as paper mailing bags or cardboard boxes. Choosing paper over LDPE not only benefits the environment but also contributes to a more sustainable future.


LDPE Symbol]

Get to know your recycling symbols

The increasing shift to recyclable packaging presents a prime opportunity for environmentally responsible choices. Recycling symbols and labels, which are becoming more prevalent, hold the key to making a positive impact on our environment. To demystify recycling, let's start with paper and cardboard, widely known for their recyclability.

Key symbols to look for, such as the Mobius Loop and resin codes, which provide insights into materials' recyclability. Plastics, labelled with numbers from 1 to 7, vary in recyclability, with PET #1 and HDPE #2 being highly recyclable.

Compostable symbols, differentiated between industrially and home compostable materials, and delves into the significance of symbols like the Green Dot and the ''Tidyman'' Symbol. Recycling instructions on product labels are crucial to ensure proper disposal. Understanding these symbols empowers individuals and businesses to make eco-conscious choices and communicate their commitment to sustainability to customers. 


Packaging Heroes

In our latest unboxing video, we're thrilled to showcase Bamboo Clothing, a true sustainability champion. Join us as we unravel their story and the eco-conscious choices they've made, including their preference for Priory Elements sustainable paper mailing bags.

Discover how these thoughtful packaging solutions not only align with their values but also contribute to the greater cause of reducing environmental impact. We're excited to share their journey, making it a testament to the positive change we can create in the world of packaging.

Proud to be B - B Corp of the Month

We're delighted to shine a spotlight on Jimmy's Coffee as our B Corp of the month. Their commitment to sustainability is truly inspiring. They source all their coffee from hand-picked, single-origin, Rainforest Alliance certified Arabica Coffee in Colombia, not only ensuring quality but also promoting ethical and environmentally responsible practices.

What's truly remarkable is their pioneering approach to packaging. Jimmy's Coffee champions infinitely recyclable packaging, introducing the UK's first resealable, aluminium BottleCan™ and 250ml SlimCans, ensuring all their packaging can be infinitely recycled and back on the shelf in just 60 days. Their dedication to eco-conscious choices aligns perfectly with our mission, making them a standout B Corp of the month.

Jimmy's Coffee

Brighten Your Day

As autumn settles in and garden cleanup begins, consider leaving your leaves in place this season for a range of environmental and garden benefits. Not only do fallen leaves provide a habitat for important soil creatures, but they also enrich your garden's soil by slowly breaking down into essential nutrients like carbon, nitrogen, and minerals. This natural mulch acts as insulation, reducing soil erosion and saving water. You can even use leaves to enrich your compost, reducing waste and producing nutrient-rich soil for spring.

By letting nature take its course and leaving the leaves, you're contributing to a healthier environment and more vibrant gardens. This fall, make the choice to let the leaves stay and witness the positive changes in your garden come spring.

The Truth About LDPE Recycling - Is It Potential Greenwashing?

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Business Services (B2B), Office, UK, Uncategorized

All brands are looking to tell people how sustainable they are, but in some instances this can be misleading. You see supermarkets putting 100% recyclable on plastic bags, ecommerce retailers using 100% recyclable poly mailers – but does saying LDPE is 100% recyclable and using these eco markers really mean it will be, or is it false virtue signalling and greenwashing? 

One particular choice that has gained popularity as an ecommerce packaging solution is the use of poly mailers, often marketed as recyclable and eco-friendly. However, the reality of LDPE recycling in the UK tells a different story. Should we be allowed to say that things are 100% recyclable in full knowledge that the capacity and infrastructure aren’t available? 

LDPE Markers

Plastic is an extremely versatile material that has transformed industries including healthcare, food security, and ecommerce packaging. In the UK, 2.4 million tons of plastic were sold in 2017, of which packaging accounts for 1.3 million tons. Most household plastic packaging will have a label that says whether or not it can be recycled and what type of plastic it is.

Among the various plastic types, LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) is a common contender. The LDPE recycling symbol, the number 4 encased in the recycling symbol, are intended to provide clarity to consumers. However, these seemingly innocuous symbols have come under scrutiny. Questions have arisen about whether LDPE markers, and similar recycling labels, sometimes offer false hope. Are they truly indicative of the recyclability of the plastic or do they merely scratch the surface of a much more complex issue?

blue poly mailer

The LDPE Recycling Conundrum

While LDPE markers aim to provide consumers with information about recycling, the true scope of the challenge becomes apparent when we consider the vast quantities of LDPE packaging used annually. By 2060, the use of plastic packaging, in particular LDPE, is expected to triple.

In recent years, the UK has witnessed a remarkable 40% growth in the ecommerce market over the last 10 years, driving an upsurge in packaging demands. Currently, plastic packaging in the UK accounts for nearly 70% of our plastic waste. Yet, amidst this boom in packaging usage, municipal recycling rates in England have remained stagnant, growing by just 0.3% between 2020-2021 and remaining at 44-46% for the past 11 years.

What many people are not aware of is the limited recycling capacity in the UK for LDPE soft plastics. A significant disparity exists between the demand for recycling soft plastics and the actual recycling capacity in the UK. Startlingly, the UK's recycling infrastructure falls far short of what's required to efficiently recycle LDPE, with less than one-third of the necessary capacity currently in place. Even more concerning is the glaring lack of recycling capacity tailored to the needs of the average consumer, especially when it comes to LDPE packaging.

UK Recycling Infrastructure

Unfortunately, recycling plastic is becoming increasingly complex for households. The responsibility for UK household waste collections lies with local authorities, which differ from area to area. There is no national co-ordination and organisation with each local authority only collecting certain types of plastics, mostly plastic bottles, rigid packaging plastics, and very few collecting LDPE soft plastics. It can be argued that one of the most important steps in the recycling process of plastic waste is the collection of recyclables. As of 2017, just 18% of local authorities in England provide kerbside collection for LDPE plastic film.

The current recycling infrastructure in the UK cannot cater for the capacity needed to recycle the amount of LDPE waste that is discarded each year. In fact, some of the plastic recycling generated by the UK is shipped overseas to be recycled as the domestic infrastructure we currently have isn’t capable of managing the capacity.

Whilst LDPE packaging is a popular choice with many retailers, the UK faces a major issue when it comes to recycling LDPE, especially soft plastics. Despite well-intentioned efforts, the public awareness has not translated into action, and recycling rates are disappointingly low.

The lack of infrastructure available for LDPE recycling means that over 95% of soft plastics generated by e-commerce businesses for consumers end up in landfills or the open environment. This figure of less than 5% dedicated to municipal film recycling is in spite of households accounting for around half of the UK’s 665,000 tonnes of annual plastic packaging waste.

To put this into perspective, 95% of all paper packaging is able to be recycled, and the current recycling rate in the UK for paper sits at an impressive 71%. As one of the most widely recycled materials in the UK, the recycling infrastructure for paper is well-established and accessible in comparison. With curbside collection widespread and common practice, paper recycling is an integral part of the waste management infrastructure and a now reliably adopted consumer behaviour.

A Call to Action 

So what’s the solution? Some are out of our immediate control; these being to invest in recycling infrastructure and centralising the system. But where we can make a change is to drive reductions in plastic usage and increase the use of more sustainable packaging choices. The UK’s limited LDPE recycling infrastructure and the environmental advantages of paper and cardboard packaging, such as paper mailing bags or cardboard boxes, makes a compelling case for businesses that value sustainability and can consider that change. Choosing paper over LDPE is not just a sound environmental choice, but a powerful way to contribute to a more sustainable future.

If this topic has piqued your interest and you’d like to delve deeper into sustainable packaging solutions, we’re here to help. At Priory Direct, we’re experts in sustainable packaging, and we’re always ready to provide guidance and consultation to businesses looking to make their despatches eco-friendlier. Don’t hesitate to reach out; together, we can make a positive change in the world of packaging. 

Paper Mailing Bags LCA - The Clear Choice For Ecommerce Despatches

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Business Services (B2B), Office, UK, Uncategorized

As the global focus shifts towards environmental responsibility, it's no longer enough to just talk the talk when it comes to sustainability. So, we took a science-based approach with independent research conducted by the Research Institutes of Sweden (RI.SE) to examine the environmental impact of different packaging solutions. In this article, there's only one winner: paper mailing bags.

RI.SE: The Pioneers of Sustainability Research

RI.SE is a unique, independent research and technology organization dedicated to building a sustainable future. They collaborate with both the private and public sectors to develop services, products, technologies, processes, and materials that contribute to this shared goal.

RI.SE Logo

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Measuring Environmental Impact

The study conducted by RI.SE assessed the environmental impact of three common packaging solutions: paper mailing bags, poly mailers (PE), and corrugated cardboard boxes. The LCA examined six phases of a product's life cycle, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal, providing a holistic view of each option's sustainability.

Product Life Cycle on chalk board

Four Key Environmental Indicators

To make a meaningful comparison, the study focused on four critical environmental indicators:

  1. Global Warming Potential (GWP): Global warming potential measures the ability of substance to trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere over a specific time frame, usually 100 years. It quantifies the impact of emissions, particularly greenhouse gases, on global warming. A higher global warming potential indicates a greater contribution to climate change.
  2. Acidification Potential (AP): Acidification potential assesses the emissions of substances that can lead to the acidification of the environment, It quantifies the potential for emissions to create acidic conditions in the air or water, which can harm ecosystems and aquatic life. A lower acidification potential value signifies a reduced risk of acidification.
  3. Eutrophication Potential (EP): Eutrophication potential measures the potential of emissions to cause nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. High eutrophication potential values indiciate a greater risk of excessive nutrient levels, which can lead to harmful algal blooms and ecological imbalances.
  4. Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP): Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential evaluates the ecmissions that can contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, harmful air pollutant. It quantifies the potential for emissions to react with sunlight and other pollutants to create ozone, which can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues. A lower POCP value signifies a reduced impact on ozone creation. 

The results are in..

Global Warming Potential

Switching from a virgin PE mailer bag to an unbleached paper mailing bag could result in a significant 49% reduction in carbon emissions. For 100gsm unbleached paper mailers, this reduction increases to approximately 66%. The benefits become even more pronounced with thicker paper and lower-gauge film options.

Biogenic emissions actually result in paper mailing bags showing a negative carbon footprint of -46.7kg/CO versus plastic bags being a net contributor of CO of +54.8kg/CO.

Acidification Potential

Unbleached kraft mailer bags have a considerably lower AP than virgin PE mailer bags, with a 32% reduction. 

Eutrophication Potential

Unbleached kraft paper mailing bags offer a remarkable 74% improvement compared to 100% recycled content PE mailer bags. We also saw a 50% improvementof unbleached kraft paper mailers versus virgin PE mailer bags.

Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP)

Unbleached kraft mailer bags offer a 27% reduction compared to virgin PE mailer bags.

Interpreting the Results

When considering the environmental impact, unbleached kraft mailer bags consistently outperform other options, offering significant reductions in carbon emissions, acidification, eutrophication, and ozone formation.

Priory Elements Paper Mailing Bags


In the realm of sustainable packaging for ecommerce despatches, the evidence is clear: paper mailing bags are the top choice. They outshine other options in terms of environmental impact across various parameters. These findings underscore our commitment to providing environmentally responsible packaging solutions.

Remember, making sustainable choices isn't just good for the planet; it's also a smart business move. So, if you currently use poly mailers and are looking to switch to something more sustainable,  paper mailing bags are a winner. If you have any questions and want to know more about the LCA and our paper mailing bags range, get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

September Newsletter

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized

We're thrilled to welcome you to our second monthly newsletter at Priory Direct. It's been an exciting month filled with sustainable stories, inspiring innovations, and a dash of eco-friendly enthusiasm.

Let's get started, shall we?

This edition will feature:

  • Exclusive offers - Rewarding you, times three!
  • Eco Spotlight -The benefits of reducing packaging waste and what your business can do to help.
  • Packaging Heroes - Wined, Sealed, Delivered - How Good Pair Days have revolutionised their packaging for the better.
  • Proud to be B - B Corp of the Month - Pennard Vets are leading the way in animal care & community impact.
  • Brighten your day - Meet the company using oysters to develop energy saving paint
  • Join the conversation - Blue Earth Summit 2023 – 11-13th October

Eco Spotlight

Over the past month, we've been on a mission to raise awareness on the importance of reducing packaging waste in businesses, and the benefits this can have for you and the planet. From ingenious eco-friendly solutions to practical tips for a greener workplace, we've explored it all. Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond words; it's in the actions we take, educating others, and the positive impact we create.


Find out our top tips for reducing packaging waste

Curious about how your business can take meaningful steps towards reducing packaging waste? We've got the secrets you've been looking for! We'll reveal insights into slashing packaging waste.

From right-sizing your packaging to embracing eco-friendly materials and even investing in game-changing equipment, these strategies will revolutionize your sustainability game.

Packaging Heroes

In our quest to spotlight packaging innovation, we're raising a glass to Good Pair Days. This exceptional company has gone the extra mile in their commitment to sustainable packaging. Their clever use of pulp packaging ensures a snug fit for their wine bottles while minimising environmental impact. It's a perfect pairing of form and function, proving that eco-conscious packaging can be as delightful as the wine it protects. 

Their packaging has been revolutionised to remove plastics and now features a built-in handle and an insert made from biodegradable moulded pulp - making their product packaging 100% recyclable.

Good Pair Days Packaging

Proud to be B - B Corp of the Month

This month, we shine the spotlight on Pennard Vets, a remarkable B Corp that's making waves in the world of veterinary care and community support. As the world's largest employee-owned veterinary group and the first B Corp certified veterinary practice in Europe, Pennard Vets embodies a commitment to both animal welfare and sustainability.

Their philosophy is simple yet profound: unlimited vet visits for their members throughout the year. They love their patients and believe in providing the right care, in the right way, and at the right time.

dog and cat

Brighten Your Day

Meet the company using oysters and turning them into paint. Yes, that's right - Cool Roof France have developed an oyster-enriched, thermo-reflective roof paint that makes use of the 130,000 tonnes of oyster shells that are thrown away every year.

It uses the calcium found in the shell to replace the calcium in the paint which results in a durable paint lasting 20 years, able to reflect 90% of the sun's rays, and reducing the average temperature by six to seven degrees celcius. Consequently, energy consumption from ACs has dropped, in fact, they've been able to demonstrate a 30-50% reduction in energy consumption.


Join the Conversation

Interested in getting involved in some sustainability awareness this coming month? Check out this event:

Blue Earth Summit - 11-13th October 2023

The Blue Earth Summit is an exciting annual event that brings together sustainability leaders, businesses, and individuals passionate about eco-friendly practices. It's a fantastic opportunity to gain insights into the latest sustainable trends and innovations.

Blue Earth Summit

At the summit, you can network with like-minded individuals, learn from experts, and discover new ways to enhance your sustainable packaging offerings. Blue Earth Summit is a valuable platform to stay informed, inspired, and connected in the world of sustainability.

Exclusive Offers

This October, we're turning up the eco-rewards dial to three. Supercharge your sustainability journey with triple the customer reward points on new customer first orders. It's our way of saying thank you for making greener choices. Dive into sustainable shopping with a side of rewards.

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9 Ways To Reduce Packaging Waste

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized

In today's world, where environmental sustainability is more critical than ever, finding ways to reduce packaging waste has become a top priority for businesses and consumers alike. As a sustainable packaging supplier at Priory Direct, we understand the importance of making eco-conscious choices when it comes to packaging. We're going to explore nine effective ways to reduce packaging waste and minimise your environmental impact.

Right Size Your Packaging

One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce packaging waste is to use the right-sized packaging for your products. Avoid oversized boxes or excessive padding and void fill that only adds unnecessary material and weight to your shipments.

Measuring tape

For instance, if you're shipping a small item like a smartphone case, there's no need for a large box with excessive padding. Instead, opt for a snug-fitting package or mailer that protects the item without wasting materials. Products like book wraps are a great invention for this as they are made from corrugated cardboard and wrap snugly around your product to minimise movement and damage in transit. 

Many companies use custom packaging solutions that are tailor-made for their products to minimize waste further. By selecting appropriately sized packaging, you not only reduce waste but also lower shipping costs.

Reusable & Recyclable Packaging

Opt for packaging materials that are reusable and recyclable. Reusable packaging options are a great way to reduce waste. And when it comes to recyclable materials, choose packaging made from materials like corrugated cardboard or paperboard, which are widely accepted in recycling programs. 

Recyclable postal box

Whilst many types of plastic packaging are advertised as recyclable, the actual recyclability statistics are a surprising result. For instance, poly mailers - a much loved and used packaging staple for thousands of businesses for sending a great variety of products like clothes - aren't as recyclable as you think. In fact, municipal soft plastic recycling capactiy is a shockingly small percentage at less than 5% and over 95% of soft plastics generated by e-commerce businesses for consumers will end up in land fill or the open environment.

So whilst your plastic packaging like poly mailers might appear to be recyclable, the likelihood is it won't get recycled due to a lack of capacity. So, choosing products like paper mailing bags over LDPE (soft plastics) poly mailers can help divert more waste from landfills and reduce the burden on limited landfill space.

Paper is one of the most widely recycled materials in the UK and the infrastructure in place to cope with capacity is well-established, meaning we have excellent recycling rates in comparison to LDPE. Curbside collection for paper is widespread and commonplace practice throughout the UK and plays an integral part of the waste management infrastructure. 

Source Sustainable Raw Materials

Consider sourcing packaging materials from suppliers that prioritise sustainable practices and use eco-friendly materials. Sustainable forestry, recycled content, and responsibly sourced materials are excellent options to explore. 

For example, opt for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper products, which ensure responsible forestry practices. You can also explore recycled content options, like paper packaging made from post-consumer recycled materials.


Eco-Friendly Packaging

Explore innovative eco-friendly packaging options such as biodegradable materials, compostable packaging, or packaging made from renewable resources like bamboo or sugarcane. These choices have a significantly reduced environmental impact compared to traditional plastics. A prime example are grass paper mailing bags, which break down naturally and leave no harmful residues in the environment. Make sure to label these materials clearly to guide consumers on their proper disposal.

White cardboard box

Invest in an Industrial Shredder

For businesses that generate a significant amount of packaging waste, investing in an industrial cardboard shredder can be a smart move. By shredding cardboard, you can significantly reduce its volume, making it easier to transport for recycling. This practice also saves on disposal costs. Plus, if you require void fill, this waste can be repurposed into new packaging. 

Switch from Paper to Digital

Reduce unnecessary paper waste by transitioning to digital solutions where possible. Digital invoices, receipts, and communication not only save paper but also streamline your operations. Transitioning to digital solutions not only saves paper but also offers convenience. For instance, instead of printing product catalogs, consider creating interactive digital catalogues that customers can access online. This reduces the need for physical copies and saves on printing expenses. 

code on screen

Peel & Seal Packaging

Choose packaging options with easy-open and sealable features. This ensures that your customers can reuse the packaging or dispose of it more responsibly. Peel and seal packaging options, like paper mailing bags or ColomPac postal boxes with adhesive strips, enhance the usability of packaging. With this type of packaging there's no need for additional adhesives like packing tape.

Peel and seal on paper mailing bag

Provide the Right Training

Ensure that your employees understand the importance of reducing packaging waste. Conduct training sessions on proper recycling and disposal practices. Encourage them to be mindful of waste reduction in their daily tasks, such as using reusable coffee cups and avoiding single-use plastics.

Create a Recycling Scheme

Implementing a recycling scheme within your organisation involves setting up designated recycling bins for various materials, such as paper, cardboard, plastics, and electronics. For instance, you can have a bin specifically for cardboard packaging waste generated during shipping and another for office paper waste. Regularly educate employees about the recycling program and its goals.

Reducing packaging waste is not just a responsibility but an opportunity for businesses to make a positive impact on the environment. By implementing these nine strategies, you can contribute to a greener future while also enhancing your brand's reputation as a socially responsible company.

August Newsletter

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome to the August edition of our new Priory Direct Newsletter! This month, we're diving deep into the heart of sustainable packaging, unboxing the stories behind our products, and celebrating the positive impact we're making together.

Get ready to unwrap a world of inspiration, innovation, and positive change. From unboxing experiences that leave you delighted, to B Corps that are transforming industries, we're here to share stories that matter. Join us on this journey to explore the heroes of sustainable packaging, the trailblazers in sustainability, and the exciting events that connect us all.

This edition will feature:

  • Eco Spotlight -Our monthly content round up all about LCAs and why they are important.
  • Packaging Heroes - Embracing sustainability with Bamboo Clothing.
  • Proud to be B - B Corp of the Month -Champion of change, Grain Sustainability, helping us and others on their B Corp journey.
  • Brighten your day - find out how scientists could use AI to identify different species in water.
  • Join the conversation - Sustainability Live London 2023 - 6-7th September & Great British Beach Clean - 15-24th September.
  • Offer of the month - check out your monthly exclusive savings

Eco Spotlight

This month, we're shedding light on Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and their role in understanding the environmental impact of packaging. LCAs empower us to make informed decisions by considering a product's entire lifecycle, from production to disposal. They help us see beyond the surface, and quantify factors like resource usage, emissions, and waste - LCAs guide us towards choices that minimize harm to our planet. 


Eutrophication Potential:
Eutrophication potential refers to the measure of a substance's potential to cause excessive nutrient enrichment in water bodies, leading to an overgrowth of algae and other aquatic plants. This can result in oxygen depletion, harming aquatic life and disrupting ecosystems.

Acidification Potential:
Acidification potential quantifies the ability of a substance to contribute to the acidification of the environment, particularly soils and water bodies. It assesses the potential impact of emissions that lead to increased acidity, which can harm aquatic life, soil health, and ecosystems.

Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential:
Photochemical ozone creation potential evaluates a substance's potential to contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone through complex chemical reactions involving sunlight, pollutants, and volatile organic compounds. Ground-level ozone is a major component of smog and can have adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Global Warming Potential:
Global warming potential (GWP) measures the capacity of a substance to trap heat in the atmosphere over a specified time frame, usually 20, 100, or 500 years. It quantifies a substance's impact on the greenhouse effect and climate change relative to carbon dioxide (CO2), which is assigned a GWP of 1. Higher GWP values indicate greater warming potential.

Did you know...

Ever wondered which packaging is greener? We conducted an LCA comparing paper mailing bags and poly mailers across four key environmental assessment areas: Eutrophication potential, acidification potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, and global warming potential.

Spoiler alert: Paper mailing bags emerge as the winners, boasting better scores in resource usage, emissions, and more.

Eco Mailing Bag

Packaging Heroes

Bamboo clothing logo

Bamboo Clothing stands as a trailblazing sustainable fashion brand, harnessing the remarkable versatility and inherent eco-friendliness of bamboo to craft premium-quality clothing that transcends mere fashion. With a commitment to both style and sustainability, Bamboo Clothing has emerged as a beacon of conscious consumerism, offering a greener alternative to conventional apparel choices.

Going beyond their dedication to sustainable textiles, Bamboo Clothing demonstrated true leadership by taking an audacious step against the prevailing tide of single-use plastic packaging that has dominated the apparel industry. Fueled by a desire to align their brand ethos with a more responsible approach, they embarked on a transformative journey that would redefine industry norms.

In a profound testament to their environmental stewardship, Bamboo Clothing opted to transition from traditional plastic packaging to the eco-forward Priory Elements Paper Mailing Bags. This pivot showcased their unwavering commitment to sustainability and their bold willingness to lead by example in championing eco-conscious packaging solutions.

By adopting Priory Elements Paper Mailing Bags, Bamboo Clothing illuminated a path that others can follow in the pursuit of greener practices. This conscientious choice not only echoes their values but also resonates with a growing community of individuals who seek fashion that aligns with their environmental beliefs. As Bamboo Clothing continues to blend fashion and responsibility, they inspire a movement towards a more harmonious relationship between style, nature, and conscious consumer choices.

Priory Elements

B Corp of the month – Proud to be B

Grain Sustainability are a sustainability consultancy on a mission to empower businesses to become advocates for both humanity and the planet. They helped us in our journey to becoming a B Corp to become advocates for positive change in our industry and beyond.

The array of services Grain provides, ranging from net zero consultancy to ESG advisory and sustainability communications, demonstrates their comprehensive approach to sustainability. By offering a holistic toolkit, they assist organizations like us in assessing their environmental impact, crafting effective sustainability strategies, and seamlessly integrating these strategies into day-to-day operations.

Grain Sustainability

Brighten your day

In the vast and mysterious realm of the oceans, a new symphony is being composed, not by instruments, but by the sounds of marine life. Scientists and researchers are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and a remarkable database of aquatic sounds to unravel the secrets hidden beneath the waves. This exciting blend of technology and marine biology is offering insights into the underwater world that were once unimaginable.


1. Soundscapes of Marine Biodiversity

Imagine identifying different marine species not just by sight, but by their distinct sounds. The underwater realm is alive with a cacophony of clicks, whistles, and calls, each unique to a particular species. With advancements in AI and machine learning, scientists are developing algorithms that can distinguish and catalogue these sounds. This auditory exploration opens doors to understanding the biodiversity of our oceans in ways we never thought possible.

2. Following the Trails of Marine Migration

Tracking the movement of marine life is no longer confined to the realm of fiction. By analysing the patterns of sound emissions and reception, researchers can create detailed maps of marine species' migrations. This knowledge goes beyond merely observing their movements; it helps us comprehend how populations are changing over time and highlights areas where marine life faces threats. By identifying these danger zones, we can take steps to protect and conserve marine ecosystems.

3. The Treasure Map of Biodiversity Hotspots

Every nook and cranny of the ocean holds secrets of biodiversity waiting to be unveiled. By analyzing the variety and intensity of sounds in different regions, scientists can pinpoint areas of high biodiversity. This invaluable information serves as a treasure map for conservation efforts, allowing us to prioritize the protection of crucial marine ecosystems. From bustling coral reefs to serene seagrass meadows, these areas can now be safeguarded for generations to come.

4. Eavesdropping on the Health of the Seas

As climate change and human activity reshape our planet, marine ecosystems face unprecedented challenges. AI-powered acoustic monitoring allows us to eavesdrop on the health of our oceans. By studying shifts in the soundscape, researchers can detect early signs of stress caused by factors like warming waters and pollution. This real-time data equips us with the knowledge needed to take action and mitigate the effects of environmental changes on marine life.

Offer of the Month

Join the Conversation

Interested in getting involved in some sustainability awareness this coming month? Check out these two events:

Sustainability Live London - 6-7th September

Sustainability live London

Great British Beach Clean - 15-24th September

Great British beach clean

Let's talk

Want to feature in our next newsletter or have any sustainability stories you wolud like to share with us? Let's chat - we'd love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions we're happy to help.

Celebrating Our 1 Year Partnership With Rainforest Trust UK

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), Charity, News, Office, Office, UK

This month, we are celebrating our 1 year partnership as a Conservation Circle partner with Rainforest Trust UK. We are extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to work with an incredible charity, helping them work towards their goal with a mission to save endangered wildlife, preserving rainforests, and ultimately protecting our planet.

Rainforests are one of the most important natural resources on Earth, and the long-term protection of them is crucial for the survival of our planet. In the fight against climate change, we know that trees are our greatest allies, and every second an acre of forest is lost to deforestation, so it’s up to us to protect them in order to protect our future.

Thanks to the help of our customers and our partnership with Rainforest Trust UK, so far we have protected…

“Save rainforests. Save species. Save the planet”

Rainforest Trust UK

About Rainforest Trust UK

For over 30 years, Rainforest Trust UK have successfully demonstrated that safeguarding vital habitat is the most effective way to protect wildlife. By identifying and focusing on key biodiversity areas around the world that require protecting, it allows them to productively save ecosystems across the globe.

Devastatingly, more than 50% of the world’s tropical forests have been lost due to aggressive deforestation for logging, mining, and agriculture. These tropical forests harbour hundreds and thousands of species, and are home to millions of Indigenous communities; but with deforestation, these habitats are being wiped out. Additionally, millions of carbon stored in rainforests are being released into the atmosphere, which has detrimental effects on our climate, contributing to increasing temperatures, progressively severe droughts, and rising sea levels.

Once the areas of land in need of protection are identified, they are categorised into one of the following types:

Private Reserves - Reserves are individual parcels, or multiple parcels of land that are secured for conservation, and maintained by dedicated partners.

National Parks - National parks are areas of land that are set aside by national governments to preserve the natural environment. With the support of their partners, these national parks can be open for public recreation and enjoyment.

Community Forest - Local people are directly involved as a critical stakeholder in the management of protecting land recognised as part of a Community Forest project. They work closely with partners and the government to make land-use decisions.

Indigenous Land Titling - Projects assigned as indigenous land titling, allow indigenous communities to gain legal rights to their land through the help and support of Rainforest Trust UK partners and government.

Their Mission

With a vision of protecting half of the Earth’s lands and waters, providing a sanctuary for wildlife, and stabilizing the climate, Rainforest Trust UK works tirelessly to save endangered species and protect the planet through creating rainforest reserves by enabling partnerships, community engagements, and donor support.

By 2025, Rainforest Trust UK aims to lock up 15 billion tons of carbon, the equivalent of three years’ emissions from the entire United States Economy. Engaging people in their conservation mission is also an extremely important goal of the work they do. And by 2025 will have reached half a billion people with their brand and mission, and will have respected, engaged, and empowered people across all areas of their work.

Recently, they announced a $500 million commitment to conserve 30% of the planet by 2030 through launching the Protecting Our Planet Challenge. Studies have shown that protected areas are one of the most cost-effective ways to safeguard nature, vulnerable communities, and our climate. The effective management and preservation of at least 30% of the planet in areas in desperate need, could ultimately protect up to 80% of plant and animal species, secure 60% of the world’s carbon stocks, and conserve 66% of the planet’s clean water.

Their Contribution

The success of the work they do is measured by a multitude of factors and differs across their projects, which include multi-year projects to save large landscapes, protecting entire species of wildlife in just a few acres, ensuring Indigenous communities gain legal rights, or safely storing millions of tons of carbon.

So far, Rainforest Trust UK has protected more than 37 million acres of land by establishing protected areas in partnership with local organisations and engaged communities across more than 50 countries. The protection of threatened rainforests over the years has helped store 13.9 billion tons of carbon, and saved 34.9 billion trees.

Ultimately, healthy rainforests are crucial for a long-lasting, healthy planet. But it's up to us to work collectively, support, and donate wherever, and whenever we can, so that Rainforest Trust can continue their protection of the world's most important natural resources.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

World Cancer Day - How Online Checkouts Can Provide A Lifeline For Charity Fundraising

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), Office, Office, UK

February 4th 2022 is World Cancer Day, an opportunity for us all to recognise the importance of cancer charities, raise awareness and funds, and make a difference for those who are working tirelessly to ensure we have the best opportunities for our futures to fight the second-leading cause of death worldwide[1].

You don’t need us to remind you about the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on all of us on a personal and professional level over the last two years - with so many industries hit particularly hard with the fallout of ever-changing government restrictions, and this is extremely true in the charity sector.

With the initial forced closures of trading shops, cancellation of fundraising events of all sizes and scales, and not forgetting the limited supporter fundraising due to over a third of UK workers being placed on furlough [2] for the 18 months it was running, resulting in reduced incomes and causing personal spending reviews to ensure the essentials could still be bought and so something had to give, which unfortunately and undeniably in most instances was regular charity donations.

But, even with all that was thrown their way, the charity sector had no option but to carry on providing essential services which millions of people rely on, but with just a fraction of the funds they usually receive.

Indeed, one of the UK’s largest Charities, Cancer Research UK, are expecting to see a reduction in fundraising income of £250m from 2020-2023.[3]

Cancer Research’s ambition was to improve cancer survival from 2 in 4, to 3 in 4 people by 2034, potentially saving 3.7 million lives per year, but given this dramatic loss of funding as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this is now in danger.[4] Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide, and as 1 in 2 of us will get cancer at some point in our lives, we know we can’t afford to be without their vital work. 

During the last 12 months alone, Cancer Research estimate that around 46,000 fewer patients started cancer treatment compared to the previous 12 months [5] - it’s clear to say that we’ll be feeling the impact of this pandemic for a while yet.

So, what do we do? What can we do?

On World Cancer Day, February 4th 2022, it falls to us all to consider what we can do to undo this funding deficit and re-invigorate this vital sector as now, more-than-ever, charities such as Cancer Research UK are in need of our help and support. We feel there’s an opportunity which has been overlooked for too long now which offers a simple solution and really could be a game changer for charity fundraising moving forwards. 

Remember these? You find them next to the checkouts in a lot of physical retail stores – a smart way to encourage us to drop any loose change in the pot as we already have our wallets and purses in our hands ready to pay for the goods we’re buying. As the world is becoming increasingly cashless, and more and more consumers are shopping online and sticking with it (whether that’s through choice or being forced to with no physical non-essential retail stores open), what about a digital charity coin pot?

What if all online checkouts had the option for you to donate money to charity right there and then as you’re about to purchase your items? And what would the impact be if all online retailers took their power to support the charity more seriously?

The amount spent in online retail sales increased by over 84% at its peak in November 2020 compared with 2019,[6] and since the pandemic hit, is now responsible for £2,334,200,000 revenue on average per week.[7]0,000 revenue on average per week.[6]

From March 2020, if all online retailers donated just 1% of online revenue to the charity sector, they would have received on average between £15.2m and £33.5m every single week.[7]

With that amount of money, Cancer Research UK’s three year funding deficit would be solved in just over two months.

A boost in funding of this magnitude to the charity sector would drive immeasurable improvements to humanitarian, health, and environmental causes and their ability to improve our world. Particularly when you consider that these statistics are for the UK alone, the effect of adopting this worldwide could completely revolutionise the charity sector.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Cancer-Researching-1024x256.jpg

So, 1%? That’s it? Is it realistic and how could it be done?

We believe it really is as easy as that - here are some simple solutions which businesses can easily implement:

Reward Points

Nectar points, Clubcard, Priory Direct Rewards, and many other loyalty programmes already exist and have done for a long time. Allowing customers to translate the monetary value of their points into charitable donations instead of redeeming them as savings on products is a purely cost neutral exercise for any business. In the first three months of launch, almost ¾ (73%) of our customers have chosen to give their reward points to charity rather than make savings on their order.

In-Checkout Donations:

The digital charity coin pot; give your customers the option of rounding up their transaction to the nearest whole pound - after all, they have their cards in front of them so it’s minimum hassle and disruption for them. Whilst the maximum charity donation for any one order will be 99p with this mechanism, the money would soon add up if it was offered on every order and by more retailers. Businesses such as Domino’s Pizza are already offering this in support of Teenage Cancer Trust and raised over £1m within 14 months of launching the donation option.[8]

Charity Ranges:

Selling products in conjunction with a charity, or specifying that a percentage of the sales of products will be donated to a charity is another solution to easily raise funds. Priory Elements Planet Friendly Packaging Ranges donate 1% of all proceeds to 1% for the Planet to support environmental charities, M&S give 5% of the sales of their festive sandwiches to Shelter to support their annual winter appeal for combatting homelessness, and Big Wild Thought raise awareness of endangered animals with their apparel, and donate 10% of the sale of each item to a relevant animal charity. Allow your customers to do some good just by purchasing your products.

Using Your Audience:

Online retailers receive millions of visits to their websites and social media channels every month, so what simpler way to provide support to the charity sector than using these to talk to your audience and to raise awareness of causes desperately in need of support? Some businesses have charity partners and their customers won’t even know about them! A lot of the time with charity appeals, they just need access to that large audience to be able to start making a difference. 

As mentioned above, even if we just aim for the conservative target of 1% of online sales going to charity, the fundraising potential is colossal. For example, in November 2020 and the lead up to Christmas, online retailers could have collectively donated £32.6 million on average per week to charities. [7]

We really see this as a no-brainer, a simple and effective opportunity to use the flow of retail to online transactions as a huge force for good. So, businesses, what are you going to do about it? And consumers, how about you? 

Consumers, we encourage you to choose responsible retailers, and retailers, take your potential impact and social responsibility seriously.

For the charities and the causes they’re fighting; as Cancer Research UK say: “What will you do? Speak up, stand up, and take action together.”

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Our Year In Numbers: 2021

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Office, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), News, Office, UK

As 2021 draws to a close, we want to take the opportunity to look back over the last 12 months, and celebrate what we as a business, alongside our fantastic customers, have been able to achieve. From protecting threated rainforest and supporting our charity partners, to launching new, innovative, planet friendly packaging products, we have a lot to be proud of. We can’t thank our customers enough for joining us along our sustainability journey; we truly couldn’t do it without you all. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our year in numbers…

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Our-year-in-numbers-1-401x1024.png

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Christmas 2021: Spending, Shopping Habits, and Store Favourites Revealed

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), Office, Office, UK

The Christmas countdown is now down into single digits and we’re a nation determined for the big day to be bigger and better than ever before. It’s been widely speculated that Christmas in 2021 would be a record breaker with millions eager to make up for the disappointment of last year, and now we have the latest data, insights, and all-important consumer opinions which reveal exactly how the festive season is being tackled.

Festive Financials

Christmas retail sales in the UK are forecasted to hit a whopping £84.7 billion in the six-week period from the middle of November to the end of December, making it the largest on record. Unsurprisingly, we saw a dip last year with spend during the holiday period totalling £79.7 billion, and 2021 is expected to see spend grow in a typical way with pre-pandemic levels, where we saw a strong £83.1 billion in 2019.

Whilst the overall spend levels between 2019 and 2021 are fairly close in the grand scheme of things (if you can ever call a difference of £1.6 billion ‘close’), the major difference we’ll see is where that money is spent.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is graph-1024x618.png

As you can see, the difference between online and store-based shopping from 2017-2019 is vast. With the forced change in shopping behaviour which we saw in 2020, the gap became significantly smaller, and the proportion of online sales grew by almost two thirds.  

The prediction for 2021 is that revenue from online sales will drop slightly versus last year, with store-based shopping seeing a rebound with the British public choosing to shop local and support their highstreets in a way which they weren’t able to last year – and likely missed.

All of this would suggest that more of us would take to the streets to do our shopping – however this is where it gets interesting…

Stocking-Filling Statistics

We’ve seen that most of the revenue in the festive period is store-based, however, 69% of consumers prefer to do their Christmas shopping online. Whether that comes down to convenience, availability, environmental, or some lasting fear around Covid-19 is up for debate – but the willingness and desire to shop online is present in an overwhelming majority of people where we’ve not really seen it before.

When it comes to online shopping, one retail giant superpower springs to mind for everyone, and the data proves it. A staggering 85% of consumers in the UK buy at least one Christmas gift on Amazon.

And with their aims of being a one-stop-shop for everything anyone could possibly need over the Christmas season, the news that 46% of online shoppers prefer to buy all gifts through one platform certainly is welcome to them.

North Pole Number One

With a cemented place in our childhoods, the Argos catalogue is synonymous with Christmas for many – and even now, they’ve still got it.

Topping the charts for the most popular UK-based online store to buy Christmas presents, it goes to show that, whilst frantically flipping through the catalogue pages has been replaced with endless scrolling on phones and tablets, the retailer is still a firm favourite with us all during the festive season.

All Things Sled and Done

The most wonderful time of the year is certainly also one of the most expensive for us with the average Christmas spend per head in the UK ranging from £994 to £1,746.

Although nothing will ever replace the feeling of highlighting and folding down the corners of the thousand-page catalogue, it seems that online shopping has finally won over the great British public and is here to stay. It’s proving to be now or never for retailers to adapt to and adopt ecommerce, and Argos are proof that fundamentally as a nation we’re creatures of habit who love tradition, yet they have been able to keep up with and capitalise on the change in consumer behaviour.

The sales that in-store shopping sees speaks for itself, however with over two thirds of us saying that our preferred way of shopping is online, it’ll be interesting to see where and at what point we see the majority of revenue start of shift that way too, as surely with the way the data is going, it’ll be happening in the not-too-distant future.


All data and information correct at time of publishing, sourced from Statista -

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Why Should You Use Gummed Paper Tape?

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), Office, Office, UK

It's no secret that plastic packaging products are causing a huge environmental issue for our planet. Despite it being a highly versatile material, every single piece of plastic that has ever been made is still in existence in some form and with only 9% of all plastic being recycled, it’s time to ditch the single use plastics in favour of something more sustainable.

When it comes to choosing plastic free packaging, it can be overwhelming, but the simplest swaps can make the biggest difference. Plastic packing tape is a non-recyclable, single-use plastic that reduces the recyclability of cardboard once applied, destroys the biodegradable quality of cardboard and can reside in our environment for hundreds of years after disposal. So switching to a more planet-friendly option is a no-brainer and it’s easier than you might think.

Gummed paper tape, or water-activated paper tape as it’s also known, is an extremely eco-friendly packaging product that can help drastically improve the sustainability of your operation. But why should you use gummed paper tape and how does it work?

How to use gummed paper tape

Gummed paper packing tape is a paper based tape with a starch, water activated adhesive. Differently to self-adhesive tapes, gummed paper tape must be activated with water before it can be applied to any box or packing material. To effectively use gummed paper tape in your operation you must use a gummed paper tape dispenser. This ensures that the tape is passed through the water reservoir, sufficiently wetting the tape ready for application. Gummed paper tape cannot be used with standard packing tape guns, so finding the right water activated paper tape dispenser for your needs is as important as finding the right tape. Once the tape has passed through the water reservoir within the gummed tape dispenser, all you have to do is apply to your cardboard box, or other packing material to create a secure seal - it's as easy as that.

How is gummed paper tape planet-friendly?

Gummed paper tape is the ultimate planet friendly packing tape. Fully recyclable, biodegradable, plastic free packing tape that is made entirely from paper and eco-friendly, starch based adhesive. Not only is the tape itself super eco-friendly, it doesn’t impact the recyclability or biodegradable quality of the cardboard it is applied to. Due to the recyclability of the tape, you do not need to remove it from cardboard sheets or boxes before recycling; saving you time and effort and saving the planet too.

How does gummed paper tape create a strong seal?

Creating a strong seal for your packing boxes is a must, and with gummed paper tape, you’re guaranteed a reliable, permanent closure. The starch, water-activated adhesive on gummed paper tape penetrates into the lining of cardboard boxes, creating a robust and permanent seal that is tamper and pilfer resistant. Sealing your packing boxes with water-activated paper tape actually enhances the strength of durability of your boxes, increasing the stack-ability of the cartons, whilst also keeping goods safe and secure.

How does gummed paper tape increase efficiency?

Optimising your packing operation can hugely increase efficiency and productivity, particularly during busy periods. Gummed paper tape is typically stocked in long run rolls, such as 100m, 200m or even 300m long rolls. This can help decrease time spent changing rolls and ensure that packing operations are running for longer before changeovers are needed. Additionally, gummed paper tape can be used with electronic dispensers to deliver the correct amount of pre-moistened tape for your box; dramatically decreasing time spent measuring and dispensing tape.

So, no matter your initial reason for switching to gummed paper tape, you truly could be saving the planet with every parcel when using water activated tape; not to mention saving yourself time and effort during your packing process. It’s everyone’s responsibility to protect the planet, and packaging swaps is the easiest place to start. If you need any further information or help to make your operation as planet-friendly as possible, get in touch - we’re here to help!

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Which Retailers Are Best For Recyclable Christmas Wrapping Paper?

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), UK

Christmas is just around the corner and the most wonderful time of year can also be one of the most wasteful. With an estimated 50,000 trees needed to make the over 100 million rolls of wrapping paper[1] used over the festive period in the UK alone, your choice of wrapping paper should be about more than what co-ordinates with the baubles on your tree and instead the focus should be on how environmentally friendly it is and whether it can be recycled or not.

With a nation of more sustainable savvy shoppers, recyclable Christmas wrapping paper is widely available this year from a whole host of retailers – but who comes out on top? We’ve compared the most popular festive wrap sellers to see who’s going to be Christmas number one in the eco wrapping paper charts:


B&M are famous for their bargains, and their Christmas wrapping paper is certainly no exception here. At just £1 for 12 metres of wrapping paper, it’s certainly the cheapest we’ve seen. However, the real cost comes at the expense of the planet as none of the low-cost wrap can be recycled. When we asked B&M why, they explained it was due to the combination of materials used and advised that availability of recyclable wrapping paper options is something they’re looking to improve on.

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A stationery supplier who are, in their own words, ‘keen to be green’ it may come as a surprise that only just over half of their Christmas wrapping paper can be recycled. Shiny foil wrapping paper is Paperchase’s downfall and unfortunately makes up a not insignificant amount of their range. It is a shame that a retailer with sustainability supposedly so high on their agenda needs to stock so many different types of unrecyclable foil wrapping paper when alternatives are easily available. Even more so that the foil options are mainly aimed at children – and even the most angelic of children are really only interested in what’s underneath the paper.

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WH Smith

As usual, WH Smith have a huge range of Christmas wrapping paper this year with almost 60 different patterns available. 60% of the wrapping papers are recyclable which does raise the question why stock more than the 35 recyclable papers as that number still offers a comprehensive range to shoppers. WH Smith are also stocking wrapping paper which is decorated with biodegradable glitter which is a great swap – however these papers aren’t recyclable. So close yet so far!

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Next have been silently making moves with their sustainability journey and have already achieved a 50% reduction in their carbon emissions and diverted 97% of waste from landfill, so our expectations were high when it came to the eco credentials of their wrapping paper. Almost 80% of Next’s wrapping paper is recyclable this year, with their foil-based luxury wraps letting them down. Whilst wanting a premium looking and feeling wrapping paper is understandable, it shouldn’t come at a cost to the planet as even just a thicker paper can translate the luxury look and feel without contaminating the paper with unnecessary extra unrecyclable materials.

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John Lewis

For many of us, watching the John Lewis Christmas advert marks the start of the holiday season, it’s safe to say we expected them to take the festive period seriously – and we weren’t disappointed. With their sister brand Waitrose leading the way with eco-friendly package free food shopping, they clearly understand their responsibility to influence consumer behaviour for the better, and as such, John Lewis and Waitrose have ensured all of their Christmas wrapping paper is fully recyclable. They’ve also ditched glitter this year to guarantee the recyclability of their paper, proving they are a conscious retailer wanting to help their customers make better choices for the future of our planet.

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Marks & Spencer

Taking home the prestigious Christmas number one this year is Marks and Spencer. And if you’re wondering how you top John Lewis’ offering of only stocking fully recyclable paper; M&S have the answer - going plastic free. Recognising that not only is the used wrapping paper a source of waste but the plastic the paper is wrapped in is as well, M&S have made the decision to bare it all and are opting to add an extra 15cm of paper to every wrapping paper roll to limit any damage instead. And they haven’t stopped there – they’ve also included reusable wrapping paper in their range this year. It is quite pricey coming in at £12 for just two wraps, so it may not be the most practical for those who are particularly generous at Christmas time, but... it’s £12 for 2 wraps for life... so definitely a step in the right direction.

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The Upshot

Sustainable wrapping paper solutions are far more accessible ahead of Christmas 2021 as retailers are taking their responsibility to the environment more seriously this year – although some are more than others. The most important thing to remember here is that buying recyclable wrapping paper isn’t job done, it’s making sure you and your family and friends knowing it’s recyclable and acting accordingly – don’t forget to do the scrunch test!

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

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Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |



Can Wrapping Paper be Recycled? There's A Simple Test To Find Out

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), UK

With the festive season fast approaching, as a nation we’re set to make up for the disappointment of last year which will see even more gifts being exchanged than ever before.

Over 100 million rolls of wrapping paper are used every single Christmas in the UK alone, all of that paper has to go somewhere. But with it roughly equating to over 227,000 miles worth of paper from around 50,000 trees - it’s safe to say that if your Christmas wrap can be recycled, it should be.

But of course, this raises the question, how do you know if the wrapping paper you receive can be recycled? The good news is there’s a simple test:

The Scrunch Test

The quickest and easiest way of knowing if wrapping paper is recyclable is by doing the scrunch test. If you can scrunch wrapping paper into a ball and it stays scrunched, it can be recycled normally with your standard paper recycling provided there is no glitter on it. If the paper can’t be scrunched or springs back open, it can’t be recycled – this is because there’s plastic or foil content in with the paper.

Just remember: if you find your wrapping paper to be recyclable, remove any plastic tape, tags, bows, or ribbon attached to the paper as this will prevent the paper from being recycled.

Stick or Twist

If you’re making the effort with researching and buying recyclable wrapping paper, then don’t ruin it by putting plastic tape on it – particularly if the thought of separating plastic tape from wrapping paper on Christmas morning isn’t appealing to you, then ensure you use, and encourage friends and family to use, paper tape.

As the name suggests, paper tape is made from paper instead of plastic and can be recycled along with the paper or cardboard it’s stuck to – no separating needed!

The Upshot

Recyclable wrapping paper needs to be a non-negotiable for the season of giving and beyond, and paper tape needs to be too to ensure the hard-work doesn’t go to waste – literally.

Just remember – if it scrunches and stays then you’re good to go!

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

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Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Paper Strapping: The Innovative & Eco-Friendly Alternative To Plastic Strapping

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), UK

If you want to strap, bundle, and secure your parcels without harm to the environment, then paper strapping is the perfect planet-friendly solution to polypropylene plastic strapping for you.

The Switch From Poly To Paper

Conventional polypropylene strapping proves extremely difficult to recycle and often ends up in landfill, the countryside, rivers, and oceans. But with paper strapping, it can easily be recycled alongside all of your cardboard and paper packaging products. We all know the detrimental effects that single-use plastic waste has on the environment, so it’s great to see an entirely eco-friendly alternative that has been produced and can ultimately replace plastic strapping.

Aside from the obvious (being plastic-free), this strapping is made from 100% recyclable FSC certified paper, is compostable, and biodegradable. Requiring less energy to use, this eco-friendly product is great for reducing the demand for fossil fuels and is a more cost effective option compared to plastic strapping.

Following an official analysis of the product, according to the RlSE Research Institutes of Sweden AB “considering the components, the paper strapping should be suited for recycling in established paper recycling systems”.

Tried & Tested

Now to the technical part… ultimately, this paper strapping was designed to completely replace plastic strapping without the need for you to change your machinery and equipment. So, whether you use an automatic machine, semi-automatic machine, hand battery tools or strapping tensioners, the patented design and composition of this paper strapping makes it even easier to switch to plastic-free.

Not only does paper strapping help reduce your operational costs, but the paper material can easily be folded unlike plastic strapping, making it quick and easy to handle, and dispose of. Now you might be thinking, ‘surely paper can’t be strong enough to securely seal large, heavy, bulky items?’, well, with the 55kg break strain, paper strapping can create a very tough and secure seal for a wide variety of items. It works so well, that we even use it in our warehouse to strap our boxes.

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So whether you’re wanting to bundle, strap, or secure your items, paper strapping provides a seamless transition from poly to paper, and offers an environmentally sustainable solution that eliminates single use plastic waste.

If you and your business are looking to take you packaging to the next eco level, paper strapping is the way to go. Any questions, queries, or information you may need on whether paper strapping is the product for you, let us know in the comments or get in touch with one of our team members.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

What You Do Wednesday: Our Customers & Their Sustainable Packaging

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), UK

Shopping sustainably plays an important role in protecting our planet, and we love that our customers think so too. Whilst it may be difficult to know where to begin, eco-friendly packaging is a great place to start, and we believe that providing a great variety of sustainable packaging options allows our customers to begin or continue to progress on their eco journey.

A couple of months ago, we decided to start a hashtag called #WhatYouDoWednesday for us to showcase how our incredible customers use our eco-friendly packaging, what sustainability means to them and their company, and how they are sharing their sustainability story through their packaging choices.

Take a look at our customer’s planet-friendly packaging...

Honey Bee Studio

With cardboard being one of the materials with the least environmental impact, it's no surprise Honey Bee Studio uses cardboard postal boxes for her company's packaging. These brown postal boxes are fully recyclable and biodegradable - did you know, recycling cardboard can save energy and uses 90% less water and 50% less electricity when making items out of recycled cardboard.

"Being kind to the environment is absolutely at the heart of everything I do at Honey Bee Studio. Not only in the packaging I use but also through the artwork and products I make. When I started my business I knew I wanted to avoid plastic as much as possible in the packaging and always use cardboard and paper - hence me using Priory Direct. I love how easy it is to find eco alternatives on your site and the scoring system you have!"

Honey Bee Studio

Oh Sew Honey

Using eco-friendly packaging is a great way to show your customers your commitment to the environment and protecting our planet for a greener future. At Oh Sew Honey, they've chosen our Priory Elements EcoMailingBags, which are fully recyclable, biodegradable, 100% plastic-free, and made from sustainable materials. Spotted the penguin? there's a reason why we've added animals to many of our Priory Elements Ranges...unfortunately, they are are endangered, and by assigning vulnerable animals to our products, we aim to raise awareness to threats that are affecting their likelihood of survival.

Kiera Flynn Photography

At Kiera Flynn Photography, they opted to ship their products using our Priory Elements EcoMailers, which are made from 100% post consumer waste and contain no plastic. A super ocean friendly packaging alternative that helps to protect our planet. How? Well, with each purchase of these Priory Elements products, we donate 1% of the sales to 1% For The Planet, allowing our customers to make sustainable packaging choices that also work towards driving environmental change.

"When I started my business it was really important to me to make sure that I did so in an environmentally friendly way, which for me meant using minimal packaging and ensuring that it was plastic-free and recyclable from the start!"

Kiera Flynn Photography

By incorporating plastic-free and recyclable packaging into their business, they are helping fight the global plastic waste issue, saving the planet's limited supply of raw materials, and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.


Who said eco-friendly packaging had to be boring? SewSheStitchesCo shows us how it’s done with their planet-friendly blue tissue paper, adding an eco-friendly pop of colour to their packaging. Not only is it recyclable, but our tissue paper is FSC certified, meaning that it is sourced using responsible forestry practices to maintain sustainability and reduce environmental impact.


Using sustainable packaging contributes to reducing your carbon footprint, can break down without releasing harmful chemicals, are easy to dispose of, and can either be reused or recycled. But at Barefoot.Tech, they don't stop there, in fact, they believe in taking environmental accountability of their products too. Instead, they recycle and reuse the materials readily out there to make their products.

"All our products are made up of pre-existing materials, recycling 90% of all our fabrics, scraps and trimmings. Therefore using Priory Direct packaging aligns our values as a brand; boxes and padded envelopes are made from recycled content, are plastic-free, 100% recyclable, biodegradable and fully compostable."


Barefoot.Tech have sealed the deal on their packaging using our Priory Elements Ecotape, which unlike many other packing tapes, is 100% plastic-free, biodegradable, and recyclable - so, when using it to tape up cardboard packaging, your customers can safely recycle both together and reduce their plastic waste.

Our customers are helping protect our planet one parcel at a time - and you can too. Because whilst we can't all do everything, everyone can do something.

What eco-friendly packaging do you use? How are you sharing your sustainability story through your packaging? Let us know.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Your Sustainability Questions Answered

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Uncategorized, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), UK

The sustainability space can be overwhelming to say the least, with so much noise around the topic, new trends cropping up, and buzzwords appearing all the time. We all know for one reason or another that sustainability is important. But ever wondered why? Or how? And perhaps, a more fundamental question should be asked first - what is actually meant by the term ‘sustainability’?

What Sustainability Means

Sustainability is about acting in a way in the present which doesn’t harm, jeopardise, or compromise future generations ability to live. More simply, it means not using resources, particularly natural ones, which cannot be replaced, in order to maintain an ecological balance.

Being sustainable and making sustainable choices needs to be considered in every aspect of everyday life - putting sustainability at the forefront of everything we do ensures we will have minimal impact on the environment.

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Why Sustainability Matters

Sustainability matters because our, and the planet’s, future depends on it. Sustainability is about finding and maintaining the balance between taking and giving which is essential for the future. Not acting sustainably will damage the lives of our future generations, cause global temperature increases, increase frequency of natural disasters, and will force thousands more species to become extinct.

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Why Sustainability is Important in Business

We all need to take responsibility for our own actions, and that doesn’t stop on an individual level - every business needs to be held accountable for their environmental impact. 

Ecommerce businesses come under scrutiny, and in a lot of cases, rightly so, for their impact - with inbound deliveries of stock which can come from anywhere across the globe, outbound deliveries to individual customers around the country, continent, or world, the warehouses and offices needed to run the business, let alone the packaging involved too - it all soon adds up to a hefty carbon footprint.

But, there’s so many quick and easy ways businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, and by making just a few small changes, it can have such a big and positive impact on the environment. And with consumers now actively choosing companies who are aligned with their eco values, using eco friendly packaging, but are also willing to pay more for it - the time for businesses to act is most definitely now, not least as it’s the right thing to do, but it’s going to begin to affect your bottom line too.

As a business looking to be more sustainable, your packaging is an excellent place to start as you’ll find quick wins here for sure. Are you using plastic packaging items for which there are paper alternatives? Are you using void fill, and if so, is there a more appropriate size, or type of packaging which would fit and suit better? If you’re using paper based packaging, is it made from virgin or recycled materials? How clear and obvious are the eco credentials of the packaging, and does your packaging tell your customer what they need to do with it once they’ve finished with it? There are so many possibilities for improvements, small and large, and we guarantee there’ll be something your business can do to make a difference.

Top Tip - Make sure you look out for logos for ‘sustainably sourced materials’ as it means the materials used to make the packaging or item were either replenished, or already in existence and recycled into a new form. 

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Where to Start with Sustainability

Whether you’re approaching sustainability as an individual or a business, this first piece of advice remains the same - the key to getting ahead is getting started. Begin by categorising the different aspects of your life or operation (e.g. food, travel, or packaging, couriers) and review what you’re doing.

As an individual, starting with sustainability can be as simple as remembering to take your bags for life with you to the supermarket, buying loose fruit and vegetables instead of plastic wrapped, walking instead of driving a journey, eating meat-free or plant-based for a day or more a week, turning plugs off when not in use, and making sure you do your recycling at home. None of these suggestions would result in a huge upheaval to your normal daily life, nor do they add much effort, time, or cost to you - but the planet would benefit hugely if we all tried.

As a business, your footprint will obviously be larger than as an individual - but don’t find this overwhelming, instead view it as a bigger opportunity to improve. You don’t have to change all aspects of your operation overnight, evaluate what your business is using and compare it to what it actually needs to use, and you’ll soon start making progress. 

Cutting carbon emissions is key for a sustainable future, and so a simple one to start with is choosing a renewable energy supplier - most companies handle all of the switch process themselves so you don’t have anything to worry about when going from old to new. 

For ecommerce businesses, logistics and deliveries are likely to be the main cause of carbon emissions, so pay close attention here when you’re looking to become more sustainable. Your choice of courier plays a big part here - Royal Mail is an excellent lower carbon delivery partner as by using the postal network, they aren’t making additional journeys to houses as they were going there anyway to deliver letters. If your parcels are too much for Royal Mail, choose a courier who offers carbon neutral delivery and/or has electric vehicles in their fleet. 

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Sustainability vs CSR

Whilst both sustainability and CSR seem similar in the sense they’re both designed to do good - there are several differences between the two. The first major difference being around the timeline; sustainability missions are set out as longer term future commitments which are very unlikely to change year to year. CSR statements on the other hand are focused on the now, set out each year and will change yearly depending on company objectives for that time period.

Another difference between sustainability and CSR is the scope involved - with sustainability missions, because they’re longer term, they revolve around systematic change in a business and a commitment which will be far-reaching. As CSR comes at a cost to a business whether through charity donations or staff volunteering days, it’s likely to be more limited in terms of scope. 

Something which also needs considering as a key difference between the two is the motive. CSR can be seen as, and indeed sometimes is, a PR activity - businesses want to be seen to be doing the right thing and so throw some (likely to be insignificant) money at an issue in society, get some good press about the good they’re doing, and that’s it. When it comes to sustainability though, your responsibility to the planet and the future doesn’t stop, and it can’t be resolved with a donation - a sustainability commitment becomes the way you run your business and go about your day to day life. 

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Do you have any other eco questions which have been bugging you? Did these answers surprise you from what you thought originally? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Wherever you are on your sustainability journey, we’re here to help. From top tips and guides, to sustainable packaging solutions, supply chain audits, and BCorp certification help - we’ve got a team of experts on hand to help you every step of the way. Get in touch with us and we’ll do everything we can to answer your questions - or if you just want to say hello, tell us a joke, or let us know what your weekend plans are, we’d love that too.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Branding Your Eco Packaging: Telling Your Sustainability Story

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), UK

Your packaging is where your brand reaches the customer in a physical sense. Choosing the right materials, and ensuring your customer understands them, is a huge opportunity for your brand to demonstrate its commitment to the environment.

Swapping to a sustainable solution is the sensible thing to do, however not informing your customer of your packaging’s eco credentials renders your smart choice almost useless. Plastic manufacturers are turning to grass, polythene producers are turning to potato starch, but unless it’s completely apparent that these new eco-friendly products aren’t the same as the age-old plastics which we’re all guilty of binning, we’re not going to see any considerable change.

The majority of stock packaging lines include official eco markers as standard, though when businesses create their own unique beautiful branded packaging, eco icons tend to be neglected and forgotten about. Whichever solution, stock or bespoke, is best for your business, it’s important to realise that these markers are a great way to communicate your values to your customers, tell your eco story, and help to evangelise your brand’s commitment to sustainability.

Official Eco Markers

If your main focus is instant recognition on a global or national scale, it may be wise to stick with the more traditional and official eco markers. We’ve put just a few below which you should already be familiar with, but as the eco-friendly need continues to grow, we’re seeing more and more rise in popularity and come to the forefront:

FSC promotes responsible management of the world's rainforests so you can recognise your items are from well-managed forests.PEFC promotes responsible management of the world's rainforests throughout the supply chain so you can buy sustainably sourced and produced items.Compostable logo bearers are certified to be industrially compostable according to the European standard EN 13432/14955.
Plastic Free
Mobius Loop
Green Dot
Plastic Free is used to indicate where products are exactly that, and most prominently used in the food and drinks industry.The recyclable logo is universally recognised for where the products' materials are partially or totally recyclable.The green dot signifies the manufacturer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging.

Unofficial Eco Markers

You don't have to stick with the official markers to show off the eco-credentials of your packaging. We’ve listed just a few examples of creative ways to speak to your customers about the eco-friendliness of your packaging to show it can be fun, on-brand, and easy-to-achieve:

Biodegradable Sustainably Sourced
An easy and effective way to communicate important eco credentials of your product packaging. Made sustainably but no official marker? Combine multiple sustainable source credentials with this logo.
Plastic Free I am not Rubbish
Show you understand and care about the fight against plastic in the oceans by adding this marker to your plastic free products. Be fun but blatant with your message and speak directly to your customers about the packaging material.

Get Inspired

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Care/of, a personalised vitamin and supplement company made a sustainability shift in their packaging back in April 2019. Their vitamin packs are now made with a plant-based film; making them a great sustainable, compostable packaging option. They inform their customers of this packaging choice by opting for simple, yet effective messaging; speaking directly to the consumer and highlighting the eco credentials. ‘This pack is now made with compostable, plant-based materials’ is a message that cannot be missed or ignored, and one that encourages customers to dispose of the packaging correctly.

Priory Elements

Branding your packing tape is an incredibly effective way to add a personal touch to your despatches as it is, but using it to add an eco-message is an even smarter solution. Priory Elements, our very own brand of sustainable, planet friendly packaging solutions, uses a mixture of simple eco messaging and unofficial markers. Printed with ‘Delivered in planet friendly packaging’ and easy to understand icons, the Priory Elements EcoTape shows customers our eco values and draws attention to the sustainability of the product. Encouraging end users to dispose of packaging correctly is hugely important, and, therefore, simple branding can help hone in on the message.

Ask The Experts

By working together to swap to eco-friendly products and educating and informing business owners, we’re paving the way to a greener future for us all. We hope this has given you all the information you could need to know about eco markers and the importance of passing on the message to your customers, and probably a little bit more too. We pride ourselves on our service and sharing our knowledge wherever possible, so if you have any questions then please speak to us on live chat, give us a call on 01622 580100, or use our Contact page.

eCommerce operations are our speciality and we can advise on all aspects of despatch to assist you in perfecting your process, so please get in touch - we’ll be happy to help.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Lauren Churcher |

Recycled vs New Materials - Which is Better to Protect Our Planet?

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), UK

We’ve all been told that recycling plays a key role in saving the planet - but have you ever wondered how it helps, thought about what it does, or questioned what impact it actually has on the environment?

When it comes to recycling, as with most things in the fight against climate change, the small things you do really can and will make a big difference on a larger scale. But don’t just take our word for it – here are some statistics for what you’ve been wanting to know:

The Current Situation

In the UK, the most recent waste statistics show that we’re actually not doing too badly at all, with 70.2% of packaging waste being either recycled or recovered. 

It’s a good start for sure, but it does mean that nearly a third of packaging isn’t making it’s way into the recycling bin. It’s crucial businesses start making a conscious effort with their packaging, and most importantly, telling their customers what to do once they’ve finished with it. You can spend a lot of money on ensuring your packaging is super eco-friendly, but if it doesn’t tell your customers what it is or what they need to do with it, it’s wasted effort, so brand your eco-friendly packaging with easy-to-understand messages or symbols for next steps.

However, all of the current UK recycling efforts are estimated to be saving more than 18 million tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road. This really goes to prove the power of a seemingly small effort from millions of individuals - it really does add up!

The environmental benefits don’t stop with lower carbon emissions either – when recycled material makes its way back into the manufacturing process, the difference in using recycled and raw materials is very apparent.

Manufacturing Using Recycled Materials

Recycled paper can be made by using just a few non-hazardous chemicals, while virgin paper is produced with hundreds of hazardous and highly toxic chemicals. Not only that, but making paper from recycled paper uses 40% less energy, and emits 55% less air and water pollution than making it from virgin wood fibres.

The benefits don’t stop with paper either, as using just one tonne of recycled plastic saves 5,774 Kwh of energy and 16.3 barrels of oil. Simply ensuring the plastic waste from your household alone is properly disposed of would have such a large, positive impact on the environment, helping to get it back into the manufacturing process, and reducing the need for raw plastics.

With all of this in mind, you’re not alone in questioning if there’s really any positives associated with using raw or virgin materials? Well, are there? Let’s take a look.

Manufacturing Using Raw Materials

Using raw materials undoubtedly has a huge environmental impact, and not in a good way either. However, given the increased demand over recent years for more eco-friendly packaging, more and more manufacturers are choosing to use new, innovative materials which have a low environmental impact up-front and can be recycled time and time again.

For example, grass paper (exactly what the name suggests, paper made from grass), is brand new to the packaging world. Using grass to make paper uses 50% less raw material, 85% less energy, and 99% less water than wood does.

It’s important to bear in mind that you can only recycle a material so many times, so we’d never be able to completely remove raw materials from use. Grass is a fast growing, renewable resource that is naturally biodegradable and compostable, which would be far better for the environment to have in the supply chain than wood pulp paper.

The Verdict

Without a doubt, the environmental benefits of using recycled materials far outweigh raw materials. If packaging could only be made from recycled materials the planet would be better for it. One thing is for certain, the more sustainable the raw material is, the better it’ll be for the planet the first time it’s used, and every time thereafter.

If you stop for a moment and think about your recycling efforts - do you do everything you could? Are you aware of the recyclability of everyday items you ordinarily throw away? Our Recycling Locator widget allows you to find what and where you can recycle materials and items - and even if it can be done at home or not. We know that recycling can make a huge difference in the fight against climate change, and all of our individual efforts will have a collective impact which we can be proud of.

Ask The Experts

If you have any questions or need advice on choosing the right eco friendly packaging for you and your business please contact us. eCommerce despatch operations are our speciality so if you have any unanswered questions or require further assistance then please get in touch – we’ll be more than happy to help. 

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New Priory Elements Ranges

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Product Launches, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), Office

We're extremely proud of our Priory Elements products, and are continually looking to expand our ranges, offering our customers planet-friendly alternatives to their favourite packaging supplies. Designed with the environment in mind, our sustainably made and responsibly sold Priory Elements packaging helps to minimise the use of new materials, prevent biodegradable waste by-products, and ensure you can easily recycle after use.

Priory Elements EcoBoxes

Our new range of Priory Elements EcoBoxes are postage optimised and quick to assemble. Featuring a peel and seal closure, there is no need for packing tape - ideal for reducing packaging waste. The integrated tear open strip means a fuss-free opening for customers too. Ocean-friendly and 100% plastic-free, our EcoBoxes are made from sustainably sourced, recycled materials.

Priory Elements EcoPaddedMailers

These lightweight, protective Priory Elements EcoPaddedMailers are ideal for safely sending a range of products the eco way. Offering a plastic-free, planet-friendly alternative to bubble lined bags, the protective inner is made using paper instead of a plastic bubble lining. So, once finished with, there is no need to separate, simply place the whole EcoPaddedMailer into paper and cardboard recycling. Requiring no tape, instead these paper mailers have a peel and seal strip, making them 100% biodegradable and the perfect sustainable packaging solution.

1% For The Planet

As part of our promise to work towards a more sustainable future, we are partnered with 1% For The Planet, meaning that 1% of every sale of across all of our Priory Elements ranges goes towards environmental charities at no extra cost to our customers. Shop now and package your products in packaging that protects the elements.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

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CASE STUDY: I Love Wallpaper - Putting Personality Into Packaging

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in UK, Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B)

For almost three decades, I Love Wallpaper have been dedicated to helping the British public find their own unique style and create homes they adore, as they have the belief that walls simply have more to say than ‘magnolia.’

With that ambition in mind, and with over 500 designs in their range, I Love Wallpaper introduced a sample service, so customers could see physical samples and try out wallpaper designs before they buy.

And when it comes to samples packaging, it couldn’t be more critical to spend the time getting it right, as it’s often where your customer will first meet your brand in a physical sense - and first impressions go an awfully long way.

I Love Wallpaper were using one of our old stock packaging solutions, silver metallic foil mailers, for sending out their samples. These mailers are certainly striking and eye-catching, but they don’t represent the I Love Wallpaper brand, what they’re about, nor in keeping with the brand’s values, and most significantly, they don’t speak for the high quality and premium customer experience you get with I Love Wallpaper.

So, step aside unbranded, unprotective, non-eco-friendly mailing bags, and say hello to stand-out design, beautifully printed, sustainably made envelopes, whilst being a physical representation and delivering on their wider brand goal of making achieving eye-catching design effortless.


These printed envelopes deliver in so many ways for I Love Wallpaper - and most notably in the way they make an instant, eye-catching, high quality feeling impression before the mailer is even opened. When these envelopes are put through potential customers’ letterboxes, there’s no question who the mail is from, it stands out from the rest, and ultimately goes to show how powerful some wallpaper can be!


Instead of pursuing a branded version of the metallic foil mailers, we worked with I Love Wallpaper to find a more suitable packaging solution which not only offered better protection to the samples, but to the planet too. The cardboard mailers at the base of this solution are manufactured from sustainable sources in the UK (unlike the metallic foil mailers which were made in China), and are also fully recyclable and completely plastic free. And the good news doesn’t stop there as the cardboard lends extra rigidity to keep the samples flat, but it’s still lightweight enough to not add to postal charges. A real winner all round!


These envelopes are fully digitally printed; giving a fully encompassing design which can be easily changed and updated as and when I Love Wallpaper want to. A flexible design, in more ways than one, which suits a brand who wants to effortlessly ensure their packaging reflects how they keep on top of changing trends and designs.


Like thousands of businesses, I Love Wallpaper are on their own sustainability journey, as they’ve made their commitment to the planet, and their customers, that they will be making their wallpaper from sustainably sourced materials. As a business, that’s a big decision to make, and so it’s very important that the messaging from the brand is consistent throughout - afterall, spending time, money, and effort on ensuring the product is as eco friendly as possible, but then choosing packaging which is on the other end of the spectrum can really let down the brand, and how customers perceive it. 

By changing from the unrecyclable silver metallic foil mailers, I Love Wallpaper have removed unnecessary plastic from their packaging, and instead have a fully recyclable solution with eco symbols to explain it to customers. They’re also finding, because of the stand-out design, that customers are choosing to re-use the envelopes for storing samples, papers, and other documents too.


We just love these stylish mailers. If you needed inspiration for putting personality into your packaging, you couldn't get much better than this!

As an online retailer, offering a samples service can really help, particularly where customers are used to buying the types of products you sell in physical stores. Whilst it may seem like an unnecessary business expense at the start, you really shouldn’t underestimate the power and importance which samples can have; offering an opportunity to not just send out what was requested, but get an early brand impression with your potential new customer, meaning they can really get a complete picture of who your company is. 

I Love Wallpaper have proved that you don't have to choose between sustainable and beautiful - you really can have both, and we'd love to help you achieve this too. We have a team of experts on hand to help and advise you on packaging which ticks all your boxes. Take a look at what we can do, or get in touch with our team to discuss your hopes, dreams, and goals (for your packaging, not on a personal level - don't get us wrong, the team are great listeners, they just may not be able to give you a breakdown for how you can become a millionaire overnight), and they'll be there to help create the perfect solution you need, guiding you through it every step of the way.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

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Amazon 2020 Sustainability Report - How Green Are The Ecommerce Giant?

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), UK, Uncategorized

Amazon have recently published their sustainability report for the last year, detailing how their operations across the globe have performed from an environmental point of view, their progress, and their commitments to the planet now and into the future. 

As one of the world’s largest online retailers, it’s unsurprising that Amazon are under scrutiny when it comes to sustainability - delivering more than 10 billion items a year certainly will come at a cost to the environment, but how much?

At A Glance:

With the latest report coming in at a total of 138 pages, it's clear that Amazon have a lot to say - here are the headlines:

  • Became the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy
  • Reached 65% renewable energy across the business
  • Delivered more than 20 million packages to customers in electric delivery vehicles
  • Ordered 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles
  • Launched The Climate Pledge Fund with a $2bn investment
  • Increased absolute carbon emissions by 19%, overall carbon density reduced by 16%
  • Eliminated more than 1 million tons of packaging material, equivalent to 2 billion shipping boxes, since 2015
  • Reduced the weight of outbound packaging by over 36%

A Closer Look:

The World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy

We know that adoption of renewable energy is crucial in the fight against climate change, so news like this is surely a good thing, right? Well...not completely… Whilst purchasing renewable energy is a positive thing for the planet as wind, solar, and hydro energy emits no greenhouse gases, unlike non-renewable energy such as fossil fuels, and will help Amazon on their journey to achieve net zero, it’s not actually addressing the root of the problem - the carbon emitting activities in the first place. Purchasing renewable energy doesn’t encourage Amazon to behave any differently, and it’s not changing their infrastructure - if anything, it’s allowing them to continue with poor environmental practices, and not feel as guilty about it. In an operation as large as Amazon, there will be many carbon emitting activities taking place throughout the supply chain which could at worst, be significantly improved, and at best, be removed altogether - it comes down to businesses owning and taking responsibility for their actions and implementing change, instead of relying on offsetting to be the solution.

65% Renewable Across The Business

As mentioned above, renewable energy is really critical to limiting climate change, so for a business as large as Amazon with thousands of warehouses, offices, and stores across 5 continents to be using 65% renewable energy is great news - and the even better news is they’re set to be using 100% renewable energy by 2025. Originally they were targeting 2030, so a 5 year improvement on that is really commendable. Personally, I think the statistic which is most impressive in this area isn’t one Amazon seem to be shouting about - the improvement from 42% renewable energy in 2019, to 65% in 2020. A near 55% increase in 12 months for a multinational business is a giant leap in the right direction, and one they should be proud of. 

More Than 20 Million Packages By Electric Delivery Vehicles

20 million packages certainly seems like a fair few - however when you consider that Amazon deliver more than 10 billion items a year, those 20 million parcels by electric vehicle doesn’t seem to be that many at all (in the grand scheme of things), representing just 0.2% of their deliveries. This number will only increase over the next decade, but with the power and capacity Amazon has, I’d expect them to be doing more at this stage. 

Electric Delivery Vehicle Fleet

Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles in 2019 - the first of which were on the roads earlier this year. They’re planning on having 10,000 on the road “as early as 2022”, and the remainder up and running by 2030. Whilst I appreciate 100,000 electric vehicles is going to require work at their delivery centres across the globe with charging stations an absolute must, I do think the roll out could happen much sooner - what are they gaining by waiting? Will these charging points actually use renewable energy, or is the delay in deployment to give them time to sort out further offsetting? Another thing to consider here is that Amazon rely on third party couriers to deliver reportedly up to 50% of their parcels - if 100,000 electric vehicles of their own is only enough for half of their deliveries they need to make at the moment, what are they going to do to cover for the inevitable business growth they’ll see over the next 9 years? Rely even more on third parties? If so, will they only work with third parties who use electric vehicles? Perhaps they should increase their order, and quickly too...

The Climate Pledge Fund

Off the back of co-founding The Climate Pledge in 2019 which sees businesses commit to being net zero by 2040, in 2020, Amazon created The Climate Pledge Fund. The idea behind The Climate Pledge Fund is for Amazon to invest in companies that can ‘accelerate Amazon’s path to meeting The Climate Pledge.’ And that investment isn’t small either - it’s set as $2bn and the plan is ‘to support development of decarbonising services and technologies’. So far, they’ve invested in 9 companies, with services ranging from lower carbon concrete to electric aircrafts. Amazon are clearly aware of their current largest carbon emitting activities and are thinking ahead to achieving the 2040 target they set for net zero. They know they need solutions to their problems, have identified who can provide them, and are investing a hefty amount into them. A really great initiative - let’s hope the companies they’ve invested in aren’t going to be exclusive for Amazon and will provide access to their services regardless of business size as it could be a real game changer on a big scale.

Carbon Emissions Increase, Carbon Density Decrease

Unsurprisingly, Amazon saw huge growth last year as, in the UK at least, everyone was forced to shop online. More online shopping means more deliveries, so the question was never ‘would Amazon’s carbon emissions increase?’, it was always ‘by how much?’ A near 20% increase in emissions is significant and scary for any business, let alone one the size and scale of Amazon. 2020 certainly did cause unprecedented demand, and pretty much overnight too - undoubtedly they would have needed more delivery vehicles for the increased order volumes, yet they didn’t use any of their 100,000 new electric vehicles and instead outsourced or purchased more non-electric vehicles. At the time, it would have come down to letting customers down or abandoning their environmental responsibility - whilst neither of these options are something a business wants to be faced with, there would have been a better compromise than the colossal 19% increase in carbon emissions we’ve seen. 

There is more hope for the future though, as Amazon are reporting a reduction in overall carbon density of 16%. Partly due to the change in customer behaviour and online shopping having a lower carbon footprint compared to their physical stores, and also in part to their fulfilment operations which saw an increase in renewable energy usage, efficiencies in transport network, and reduction of packaging materials. 

Amazon are admitting that they are still in the early stages of decarbonising their business, and that it will take several years for the reduction in carbon intensity to be reflected in an overall carbon footprint reduction - which it will - and is certainly now a bigger task given the huge, unforeseen, increase in emissions last year. 

Saved 1 Million Tons of Packaging Material

Amazon have come under a lot of scrutiny for the size of their packaging compared to the size of the contents. This has evidently improved in the last 5 years with that enormous reduction in packaging material through investment in technologies and solutions, which means they now have just a handful of packaging items, and there will be a solution which gives a ‘best fit’ for the vast majority of the 350 million products they sell. However, Amazon still face a problem when it comes to shipping multiple items in one order. Multi-product orders are frequently being sent in oversized packaging which not only is a waste of materials, but is resulting in a much larger carbon footprint than necessary due to the amount of air they’re shipping. Dedicating just one paragraph to one of their biggest problems, and opportunities to improve, in the 138 page report where they state they’re using AI to optimise packaging choices is a serious oversight in how much of a problem this is for them. Oversized packaging means there is air (with or without void fill) in nearly every single despatch Amazon do. Air in a parcel is an inefficiency; not only is the packaging the wrong size, but it also means that less parcels will fit in delivery vehicles, meaning more on the road, and therefore, unnecessary extra carbon emissions. And on a business of Amazon’s scale, these inefficient packaging choices are really coming at a cost to the environment. This has been a problem for a while, and we need to see improvements in action.

Outbound Packaging Weight Reduction

A reduction of packaging weight is a good thing as it shows Amazon are continuing to improve the materials they’re using to send goods, however, this is really further evidence for our above point. Reducing the weight of outbound packaging isn’t going to solve the fundamental issue which Amazon have, as air has no weight. Lighter packages don't help with the wasted space they have in their supply chain, nor the knock-on-effect of far more vehicles on the roads than necessary and the associated higher carbon emissions. Using AI and algorithms to decide which size packaging is needed is great in theory, and sometimes in practice too, but ultimately, common sense should prevail and step in when there is a more suitable solution available.

Our Verdict

Overwhelmingly, Amazon are doing a great job when it comes to sustainability. Ultimately, people shop on Amazon because it’s convenient, it’s reliable and it’s fast, not because of their values, their renewable energy usage, nor their packaging choices - but they’re making a real effort when really, they don’t have to. As one of the world’s largest retailers who turned over $386.06bn in 2020 alone, there’s nothing stopping Amazon from using cheap plastic mailing bags which they could import from China for a fraction of a pence per bag - but they’re not. They’re choosing recyclable packaging, they’re choosing to eliminate single use plastic films, they’re choosing paper over plastic. Whether that’s because of a genuine desire to protect their namesake and the planet itself, or because they want to be seen to be doing the right thing is another matter, however I do believe it’s more the former than the latter. No-one has set a target for Amazon to be net zero by 2040, other than Amazon. No-one has demanded a $2bn investment into cutting edge companies providing climate positive solutions, but Amazon have done it anyway. 

The cause of frustration we, and a lot of others, have is that they have the power, the people, and perhaps most crucially, the funds, to do even more and make a really positive and lasting impact, but they’re not even vaguely testing the limits. They’ve made some good changes so far and are laying the foundation for doing a lot of big things right in the future, but there’s smaller and more attainable opportunities right in front of them which they’re neglecting at the moment. Addressing the amount of shipped air in their supply chain would be straightforward for them to put right, looking at how they can change to genuinely green business activities instead of relying on purchasing carbon offsets in the short term is another key step for them which has gone unmentioned as well. Fundamentally, ignoring the situation altogether will never result in change. 

Other business giants could learn an awful lot from Amazon’s approach and practices for sustainability. If governments and official bodies won’t take the climate crisis as seriously as it needs to be taken, businesses, particularly ones with so much power, should take matters into their own hands and start - if not now, when?

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

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We've Removed Our Shrink Wrap & Plastic Strapping

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), News, UK, Updates

Becoming an eco-friendly ecommerce operation is a never-ending task, and it is important that to continue on our sustainability journey, we must constantly look at ways to reduce our impact on the environment and protect our planet for the future.

As you may have seen, we have removed shrink wrap and plastic strapping from the packaging on all of our integrated labels - saving around 5 tonnes of single-use plastic each year!

What are we doing instead?

As an alternative, we have made the switch to paper strapping - just as effective, but fully eco-friendly. It can be as easily recycled as card or paper, and is fully biodegradable. With 70% of consumers actively taking steps to reduce their use of plastic packaging, it’s important that we offer sustainable solutions so we can all help each other in protecting our environment. [1]

Why are single-use plastics so bad?

Single-use plastics are damaging to our planet. Incapable of degrading, they break down into microplastics, releasing toxic chemicals into our water supplies, food, and ecosystems. Ingested by wildlife, in particular aquatic animals, scientists have found that microplastics are prevalent in 114 sea creatures, with more than half of those consumed as food by humans[2]. It has been found that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish, and with 80% of marine litter originating on land, it’s up to us to take actionable steps in managing our plastic waste correctly in a way that won't harm the environment, wildlife and oceans[3].

So, what can you do to help?

Popularly used for packaging and service ware, single-use plastics are meant to be disposed of after use, however over the years, this has led to a multitude of damaging environmental consequences. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom - there are many, simple ways you can make small changes to your day-to-day life or to your business that can help.

1. Opt for reusable products

It’s easy to forget the impact that disposable plastics have on the environment, especially with today’s ‘throwaway culture’ and prioritising convenience over considering the long-term effects. Choosing items such as reusable water bottles and coffee cups, or cloth shopping bags and reusable metal straws is a quick fix that everyone can implement into their daily routine.

2. Recycle your plastic waste

It may seem like an obvious solution, but currently only 32% of total UK plastic waste is recycled[4]. Recycling plastic requires less energy than producing plastic products, preserving the Earth’s natural resources and easing the demand of fossil fuel consumption, ultimately minimising its environmental footprint. With many types of plastic circulating, it’s also important to understand what to look out for on your plastic products and how to correctly recycle your plastic waste.

3. Choose plastic-free packaging

As the global war on plastic continues, it’s no surprise that there has been a growing demand for plastic-free packaging over the years. In light of this, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging are constantly being developed, so that no matter what your packaging needs are, there is sure to be a sustainable, plastic-free solution. Implementing plastic-free packaging into your business is a great way of reducing plastic waste, limiting your impact on the environment and wildlife, and decrease your carbon footprint.

4. Look out for microbeads

Commonly found in many cosmetic and beauty products, microbeads are tiny amounts of plastic used in facial scrubs, toothpaste and body washes. Although they might look harmless, they are passed through into water treatment plants and are often mistaken by marine animals as food. There are various natural alternatives available such as oats or even salt, which pose no harm to the environment. 

5. Buy in bulk where possible

Single-serving, travel-size, and small packaging products all contribute to greater plastic waste. Consider the ratio between product size and packaging and select the larger container as an alternative to buying several smaller sizes over time.

Ultimately, reducing plastic consumption is the most effective way of reducing waste and the implications of plastic pollution. Whilst we can't all do everything, everyone can do something - the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

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Chloe Winsper | | Samantha Holmes | | Lauren Churcher |

Why Are Our Oceans So Important?

Written by PrioryDirect on . Posted in Awin, Business Services (B2B), Business Services (B2B), Office, UK

So, why are our worlds’ oceans so important? Covering 71% of the earth’s surface, our waters are not only extremely vast, they are also vastly important, and they have a huge influence on how humans, animals and ecosystems function. So let’s take a closer look at the top 5 reasons why our oceans are so important and why we need to protect them.

The Air We Breathe

Our oceans make up 95% of all space available to life and are home to a marine microalgae called Phytoplankton - a key component of our oceans ecosystem - and these little things are more important than you may think. They are responsible for producing a whopping 50% of the earth’s oxygen![1] That makes them the world’s largest producers of oxygen; an incredible feat for a microalgae. Similar to land plants, Phytoplankton contain chlorophyll to capture sunlight, and using photosynthesis, convert it into the energy they need to function, subsequently producing oxygen as a by-product.[1]
However, with the rising sea temperatures and changing PH levels, Phytoplankton is at risk of being harmed, and as you can see, we simply cannot live without them. So protecting and preserving our waters, keeping them safe and well looked after is imperative to the future of our planet and indeed, the human race.

The World's Largest Carbon Store

Whilst generating oxygen for us to breathe is already mega cool, Phytoplankton in our oceans also consume carbon dioxide; transferring around 10 gigatonnes of carbon from the atmosphere into the depths of the ocean every year[1].
Our oceans are responsible for absorbing approximately 30% of all carbon emissions produced by human activity[2] and 83% of the global carbon cycle is circulated through marine waters[3], making the ocean the world’s largest carbon store. Holding over 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere[4], oceans are without a doubt one of the most important, influential entities on Earth that are certainly doing their part to mitigate climate change. However, the ocean cannot do it on it’s own, we need to take responsibility and do all we can to reduce our carbon footprints and help to protect and preserve our natural carbon stores and the marine life that enables oceans to be the carbon sinks they are.

Regulates Weather Patterns

We all know the devastating impact that climate change is having on the planet, but did you know that our oceans play a pivotal role in regulating our climate?
The ocean absorbs over 90% of the heat produced by the sun and additional heat that is created due to trapped greenhouse gases[1]. The ocean’s currents then transport that heat around the world, North and South away from the equator and towards the poles, consequently regulating the climate, moderating surface temperature and driving weather patterns. Some water currents are directly responsible for specific weather climates, and without them parts of the world, including the UK, could be considerably colder[1].
Unfortunately, our oceans cannot continue to store the ever increasing heat and energy generated by increased carbon emissions, and it will reach breaking point. If that happens, we are likely to see more extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, changes in ocean currents and rising sea temperatures. It has never been more important to reduce our carbon emissions to help protect our waters, and the time for action certainly is now.

Home To The Most Diverse Range Of Species

Scientists estimate that over 2 million species live in our oceans and marine environments, however due to the vastness of the world’s water, the exact number is not known[2]. Over 90% of species in the ocean still await description and there could still be millions of species that have not yet been discovered[1]; the world’s water truly is full of a wonderfully diverse range of living things. From coral reef ecosystems, marine mammals and turtles, to fish, algae and other organisms, the diversity of the ocean is as vast as it’s size. So it’s important to protect our oceans, not only from climate change and global warming, but also from direct human impact such as oil spills, overfishing and shoreline development; all of which are threatening our oceans and marine life on a daily basis.
The biodiversity of the ocean gives so much to humans, from the oxygen we breathe to the food we eat, so protecting and preserving the habitat of marine life should be high on our agenda.

Home To Ingredients For Medicines

Not only are the oceans home to the most diverse range of species, the marine environment also houses hundreds of thousands of compounds that can be used to create medicinal products that help fight a wide range of diseases and illnesses.
Over 10,000 compounds have been extracted from oceans which have subsequently been used in biomedical research, and used to create medicines and treatments for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and arthritis[2].

So it’s clear to see that our oceans play a pivotal role in how our entire earth functions, and without them not only would climate change be far, far worse than it currently is, we would not have the oxygen we need to survive, or the medicines we require to fight disease. Our world’s waters are incredibly important, and as I’m sure you now know, it’s time we all take responsibility for protecting them. Small changes can make a world of difference, and reducing your carbon emissions can go a long way when it comes to preserving our waters, so find out more about how you can reduce your carbon footprint here.

Don't forget, we're running other great promotions exclusively on our affiliate programme, offer 10% commission for new customers, as well as free next day delivery on orders over £250 - if you haven't already, join us today!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Priory Direct Affiliate Team

Chloe Winsper | | Samantha Holmes | | Lauren Churcher |

References & Sources

[1] - World Economic Forum 'Here are 5 reasons why the ocean is so important'

[2] - Marine Conservation 'Why protect the ocean?'

[3] - WWF 'How climate change relates to oceans'

[4] - National Ocean Service 'Why should we care about the ocean?'