Among the multitude of pressures that cause the ebb and flow of public opinion, Sir David Attenborough’s second instalment of Blue Planet was responsible for generating a surge of interest in plastic pollution and recycling, according to new research. The result of this is that companies are now paying greater attention when making purchasing decisions and plastic packaging has been at the centre of this.


Well actually, you’d be surprised!

The UK corrugated market saw unparalleled growth during 2017, from the uncertainty over post Brexit supply combined with the 15% fall in sterling since Brexit was announced. This prompted UK manufacturing, which is currently booming, to reassess their supply chain and buy more packaging from within the UK. This upsurge in demand has impacted on the cost of the raw materials for the entire corrugated/paper industry.

UK buyers were with hit with three substantial price rises in paper during 2017 and a fourth increase during the first quarter of 2018. It is believed that this trend may continue until UK prices are in line with those in Europe and until Europe’s prices are in line with those of other global markets.


Wrong! The actual environmental friendliness of paper is somewhat questionable.

  • The Film and Bag Federation, a trade group within the Society of the Plastics Industry based in Washington, D.C., said the right choice between paper or plastic is clearly plastic
  • Compared to paper, plastic consumes 40 percent less energy, generates 80 percent less solid waste, produces 70 percent fewer atmospheric emissions, and releases up to 94 percent fewer waterborne wastes, according to The Film and Bag Federation
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) identified that paper and pulp production in 2014 consumed 5.6% of the world’s industrial energy requirements
  • Paper is mainly made from hardwood. This process is highly intense and is composed of the pulping process – a lot of water, chemicals and energy are also used to make paper and dangerous chemicals are released into the air as a result
  • Paper’s raw materials have to come from trees, a natural resource that is otherwise carbon-fixing, so the paper production process not only adds waste to the world, it kills one of our greatest tools for fighting pollution
  • It takes about 91 percent more energy to recycle a pound of paper than a pound of plastic
  • The process of recycling paper can be inefficient and often consumes more fuel than it should
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that paper does not biodegrade in landfills at a much faster rate than virgin plastic
  • Across the world, we are rapidly running out of space for landfill sites and paper takes up more space in landfill than plastic if not recycled
  • Plastics are lighter than paper so transporting paper needs more energy and this means using more trucks and results in more air pollution


A 2004 Canadian study showed that to replace plastic packaging with alternative materials would consume 582 million gigajoules more energy and create 43 million tonnes of additional CO2 emissions. The energy saved by using plastic was equivalent to 101.3 million barrels of oil and the amount of CO2 emissions saved was equivalent to running 12.3 million passenger cars each year.


During manufacture, plastic packaging has significantly less impact upon the environment than paper/cardboard products in terms of air pollution, energy usage, water pollution and global warming potential.

Utilising our innovative range of biodegradable air cushions offers a superior environmental performance over competing products in our market.

With tests that we have conducted on paper vs plastic packaging, we have found that using equivalent meterage of plastic air cushions (500M) gives you approximately 3 times as much void fill when compared to paper.