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Appetite for plastic free advent calendars grows among Brits

Packaging Solutions


Consumer appetite for alternative advent calendars is contributing to an increase in plastic free versions, according to DS Smith. Data from the company shows that between 2019 and 2022, production of plastic free advent calendars jumped by over 200%.

As Brits open their advent calendars, the company is predicting that spend on plastic free calendars is currently on track to outstrip 2022 levels.

From alcoholic drinks to chocolate, and even pet food and domestic products, the demand for alternative advent calendars has continued to surge in popularity, as shoppers look to jump on the festive countdown tradition. With advent calendars becoming increasingly elaborate, DS Smith has been working with brands to help ensure that their designs are as functional and sustainable as possible. Recent innovations have included incorporating pulp or recycled paper and removing the number of individual parts needed in the overall designs to minimise materials and reduce potential for waste. By designing 100% recyclable packaging and helping customers to design out hard to recycle plastics, the company seeks to reduce waste and keep materials in use for longer.


In line with its Now and Next strategy and purpose to Redefine Packaging for a Changing World, it uses circular design principles to help customers embrace circularity and meet their own ambitious sustainability goals.

Since their creation in 2019, the circular design metrics have supported thousands of design projects, and around 3000 circular ready projects are presented to customers every month.

Andy Brereton, design for creative lead, DS Smith, said: ‘As more consumers demand a festive countdown that goes beyond the traditional picture behind the door offering, brands of all kinds are responding with new and innovative advent offerings.

‘Although a fun festive tradition, some advent calendars can pose a problem for recycling, as they might be made from a combination of materials, not all of which will be easily recyclable. Once the last door is opened, it is important that advent calendars can be recycled so that the materials are used again.

‘At DS Smith, we collaborate with our customers to design unique advent calendars that not only stand out on shelves but are made from fibre based materials – using our circular design metrics. We remove plastic, take away any unnecessary materials, and ensure recyclability. The goal is to achieve a reduction in the carbon emissions required to make and transport the advent calendars and support the transition to a circular economy.’


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