Abacus goes further down natural route

Eco-friendly biodegradable packaging complements BBC licensed greeting card ranges


Looking after nature is the theme of BBC shows Countryfile, Springwatch and Gardeners’ World and Abacus has now extended that conviction into its licensed card ranges based on these brands by developing a new eco-friendly approach on the packaging front.

And it’s perfect timing with Abacus’ BBC Springwatch collection making it into the finals in the Best Photographic Range in The Henries 2022 greeting card awards, as announced on Wednesday, August 3.

Above: Glorious photography in Abacus’ BBC ranges
Above: Glorious photography in Abacus’ BBC ranges

“The environment is at the forefront of our minds,” Abacus’ studio manager Liz Ellis told PG Buzz, “for that reason it’s our mission to reduce the use of single-use plastic within our business.

“We’ve been working hard to make our products and packaging more sustainable and we’re proud to announce this latest offering of BBC-branded designs will be available with a branded envelope and either packaged with fully-recyclable paper belly bands or wrapped with Nativia clear bio-based film bags, which are compostable, biodegradable or recyclable.”

The bands are produced using translucent paper thanks to developers Self Seal Belly Bands in Hoddesdon, while Manningtree-based Badger Converters supply Abacus with the bio-bags made from corn starch, an annually-renewable product.  Moreover, with Abacus’ head office being in Newmarket, the publisher is also cutting down the delivery miles by working with these relatively local suppliers.

Abacus is also taking its sustainable commitment further across its other products, with its calendars now plastic-free by using an outer protective cardboard wallet, while its 2022 charity Christmas packs and 2023 Easter packs are sold in Nativia bio-based film bags. The bags are made from Ingeo PLA resin from NatureWorks using poly-lactic acid obtained by fermenting corn and other starch/sugar sources, which can be composted into CO2, water, and biomass that’s absorbed by plants to set off the loop again.

Above: Topical images hit the spot
Above: Topical images hit the spot

With the current heatwave making climate change a massive discussion point, the latest Wave & Lighthouse design from the BBC Countryfile collection is particularly topical, and Liz added: “The BBC have been really positive about the changes which has been fantastic news for Abacus, and there are some great images across all the ranges.

“We have a large customer base who still want wrapped cards so we decided to offer both wrapped and unwrapped product lines, enabling our customers to choose what suits them and their retail needs.”

Above: Nativa’s PLA packaging stays in the loop
Above: Nativa’s PLA packaging stays in the loop

Inspired by the extremely popular, long-running TV shows, the selection includes stunning photographic imagery capturing animals such as dogs and mice as well as beautiful gardens, landscapes, and coastal scenes across the seasons, and each design features relevant information, written by the BBC teams, on the reverse.

The new designs have just been released to customers in the eco-packaging options and, as current stock is sold through, the new versions are already starting to filter through.

Top: Abacus’ paper belly bands cut out single-use plastics

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