Consumer appetite for alternative advent calendars is contributing to an increase in plastic-free versions, according to data from sustainable packaging company DS Smith.
Data from the company shows that between 2019 and 2022, the production of plastic-free advent calendars increased by over 200%. As Christmas Day approaches, DS Smith has predicted that spending on plastic-free advent calendars is currently on track to outstrip 2022 levels.
In recent years, alternative advent calendars have become more popular. Rather than chocolate, these calendars contain everything from alcoholic drinks to pet food and beauty products. Many recognised brands are also producing their own advent calendars to capitalise on this trend.
DS Smith says it has been working with brands to help ensure that their advent calendar designs are “functional and sustainable” as part of its Now and Next Strategy. Changes include incorporating pulp or recycled paper and removing the number of individual parts needed in the overall designs of calendars to minimise materials and reduce the potential for waste, DS Smith says.
Although a fun festive tradition, some advent calendars can pose a problem for recycling, as they might be made from a combination of materials.
Andy Brereton, Design for Creative Lead, DS Smith commented: “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.”
The company says it uses Circular Design Principles. Since their creation in 2019, DS Smith says its Circular Design Metrics have supported thousands of design projects and around 3,000 circular-ready projects are presented to customers every month.