British Museum shops introduce compostable sweet packaging

The British Museum shops are to start phasing out some single use packaging and introduce a compostable alternative to their shelves - a first in the industry from confectionery manufacturer Calico Cottage who supplies the British Museum Shops with sweets.

In partnership with Calico's new brand, The Cambridge Confectionery Company, The British Museum will start to phase in impulse bags of sweets which are wrapped in compostable, transparent packaging which breaks down and disappears in soil in six to 12 weeks. Regular biodegradable bags can take decades to degrade and can leave a residue in the soil.

Calico's Managing director Nigel Baker was inspired to make this game-changing move after watching BBC's Blue Planet and being appalled by how much plastic ends up in the world's oceans.

He said: "The move away from single use plastic is an issue that we started to address internally at Calico Cottage in 2017. We are hugely passionate about this and have been working long hours to come up with a solution using a range of technologies, and I am proud that we have brought it to market so quickly."

Angela Pountney, retail buying manager for the British Museum shops, said: "When Calico Cottage presented an opportunity to reduce single use plastics in our shops, and help reduce the impact on our environment, we leapt at the chance. We are pleased to be able to offer our customers the sweets they love without the negative implications of single use plastic bags and be at the forefront of this initiative."

The new bags are fully certified and manufactured from sustainably sourced trees, which are converted into pulp and then a liquid cellulose solution. This is then made into a transparent solid film, which is coated and cut to size.

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