Our packaging and the near future

Our packaging and the near future

Do you purchase packaging from our Ethical Shop?

Our packaging manufacturer, Dempson, recently sent us a market update and we would like to pass this information on to you. They explained that there is a great deal of instability in the paper markets at the moment, resulting in extraordinary lead times from suppliers.

2017 saw some huge changes in the paper market, and as a customer, you are likely to be affected by the following:

  • China banned most European waste papers for recycling, which resulted in a huge increase in shipments of virgin pulp from Europe to China, and a consequent reduction in the availability of virgin pulp for the European paper markets.
  • Changes in the legislative landscape and foreign exchange rates have seen increased export opportunities for European pulp and paper mills to expand their sales in North Africa, the Americas and Asia, drawing more paper away from the European market.
  • A number of countries, including Belgium, the UK and Kenya, announced bans or increased levies on plastic gags or carriers. Some of this plastic requirement has switched to paper, increasing pressure on paper mills and converters.


Dempson also wrote that because of this, most paper mills have been operating at capacity for much of 2017 and remain overbooked. Lead times continue to extend and this is pattern is now expected to run into 2019, as there is no significant new tonnage coming online in 2018. An additional pressure is that some paper production capability is being withdrawn from the UK market during 2018, as a number of mills are forecast to close. 

A result of the above means that there will almost certainly be further price increases on packaging this year. This is not something we like, but it's beyond our control. 

We will endeavour to make ordering your packaging and symbol stickers an easy process and will ensure that any out of stock products are filled as soon as possible. In order to meet your packaging requirements and to avoid any long lead times, we encourage you to give extra time when placing orders with the Ethical Shop.