Our Packaging Ethos
All of our packaging is either recyclable, compostable or recycled.
Ever since 2002, we have cared about the environment. Starting the business a few years after sailing around the world & then becoming a mum, I (Claire) feel that we have a duty to look after our planet as much as we can & leave as light a footprint as possible and so were paying attention to our packaging formats before it was a concern. As both of us are sailors, we are very aware of what is happening to our oceans as they become increasingly polluted by plastic. I was very upset to hear that microplastics were found deep in the Southern Ocean in the latest Volvo Ocean race, a part of the world that was pristine when I was so privileged to sail there over 20 years ago.
For example, since launch, our Selection Boxes have always had cardboard grids inside to hold each chocolate in place, have never had plastic trays (as so many of our competitors use) & they never will have! We were well ahead of the curve on that front as no-one was even thinking about that back in 2002. Something else we have offered since 2002 is a 10% discount if you bring your empty selection box back into one of our chocolate houses for refilling - we were recycling before it was a thing!
We have also always only ever offered paper carrier bags & have now moved as many of our items, previously packed into standard plastic cellophane bags, as possible into fully compostable woodpulp bags.
So whilst our mini bars, treats in cartons, dinosaurs & fish & chips may look like they are in plastic bags, they have actually been packed in compostable woodpulp.
In fact, the only items in our range not packed in compostable woodpulp bags (but are 100% recyclable), are our studded slabs (& Reg the reindeer at Christmas) & the lids of our chocolate button tubs (the tubs themselves are cardboard). We are working on finding a suitable bag for slabs and have a new fully cardboard tub format ready to launch as soon as we have used up the last of the current chocolate button tubs.
We do not use any of the non recyclable films that you see wrapped around mass produced packaged items, including sadly many boxed chocolates, or things like fruit & vegetables in supermarkets.
Further, all our giant bars, & any chocolate boxes or chocolate cocoa pods packed for you instore, are wrapped in compostable cornstarch cello - you can tell it's not normal plastic as it is so noisy!
We also source rigid plastic packaging that is made of up to 80% post consumer recycled material that is 100% recyclable again. We much prefer to use recycled plastics again & again, as it is more circular than using virgin plastic material. Plastic per se is ok to use as a material as long we are using it in a closed loop over again, not creating virgin plastic that is then thrown away. We hope in time to be able to present such items in 100% post consumer recycled plastic - now that would be circular!
The boxes for our stylish Christmas trees, ducks, orangutans & the fronts of our boxed Easter eggs & 125g square decorated bars are made of this 80% post consumer recycled plastic.
We still have more work to do on finding alternatives for the clear stickers & other small items, such as metal ties, that we use to seal some of our items - the availability of sustainable alternatives is improving all the time.
If you receive a parcel from us via our mail order service, it is sealed with paper tape & fragile items are wrapped in tissue & other recycled paper, not bubble wrap. If you visit one of our chocolate houses, you may notice the team putting loose chocolates & other items out on display - all these cardboard & plastic outer boxes are returned to our chocolate kitchen in Wareham for re-filling & last us a very long time!
Finally, in our cafes, we also offer paper straws, compostable takeaway drinks cups & gelato tubs, wooden spoons for gelato & discounts for any customers who request a takeaway drink with a reusable cup. We also stock reusable cups, so you can buy one instore on the spot for us to fill with your takeaway drink!