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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
M&S Replacing Confounding Packaging Ties with Eco- and Consumer-Friendly Paper Version

Isn’t it great when a simpler solution makes the most sense? This week, Marks and Spencer (M&S) rolled out a much less aggravating alternative to the dreaded plastic and metal ties traditionally used to secure products inside packaging, particularly that of toys.

The company told edie.net that its patent-pending 'PaperTies' lock products in place and, while strong enough to withstand transport and other wear and tear, are easily torn by the buyer, making receiving a new toy a much less frustrating experience for its recipient. And unlike the standard plastic and metal version, the 100% FSC-certified PaperTies are easily recyclable.

M&S' head of technical packaging Roger Wright told edie: “By utilizing the mechanical strength of the FibreForm material from BillerudKorsnäs, the paper ties have passed our transit trials, and crucially are able to be torn by hand across the tie under the locking ‘head’.

An M&S spokesperson also told edie that the cost of the PaperTies is comparable to that of the traditional ties, and that the company is developing alternate versions of the ties for a variety of its other product ranges, with plans to replace all plastic and wire ties “where practically possible.”

The PaperTies are just one of a variety of M&S’ waste-reducing initiatives in its ‘Plan A’ ambitions to become the world's most sustainable major retailer — in addition to teaming up with rival Sainsbury's in July to facilitate the recycling of black CPET food trays, the company has established industry-leading programs and campaigns to eliminate its food waste internally, as well as urging its customers to love their clothes.

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