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Published: Jan 29, 2024 Updated: Jan 29, 2024
Published: Jan 29, 2024 Updated: Jan 29, 2024

Liz Nicholls

Copywriter for Actionpoint with 20 years of experience producing high quality content across a variety of industries.

A quick(ish) recap of 2023 at Actionpoint


We kicked off the year with a poll on LinkedIn to find out businesses’ packaging goals for 2023. ‘Sustainability’ was in the top spot with 57% of the vote. In second place, at 29%, was ‘improve efficiencies’, and 14% selected ‘damages/returns’.

Speaking of damages, according to Ofcom’s latest report on postal sector trends, just 78% of items were delivered intact to people’s homes. SME businesses fared better with 87% of goods arriving undamaged but, clearly, there is room for improvement.

At Actionpoint, we made a video that was very fitting with the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics Expo the following month. It showed an example of bespoke packaging for a digital multimeter. The possibilities of this type of presentation box really are endless.


We had a fantastic time catching up with familiar faces and making new connections at the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics Expo. The show really brought home to us how many businesses were being held back by packaging problems. We had many conversations about high damage rates and packing issues, which were draining finances and productivity. Sustainability was another recurring theme, with visitors asking us how to introduce greener alternatives, or eliminate foam, without affecting the strength and performance of their packaging.

On our social platforms, we shared videos explaining the difference between plastic tape and paper tape, and the difference between branded and non-branded packaging. Another video looked at the cross-section of a packaging solution to showcase the neat, corrugated cardboard, bespoke fitment inside.

We also shared a blog on how to tell if your packaging is due a check-up.


We ran a LinkedIn poll asking businesses what packaging subject they wanted to learn more about. ‘Sustainable packaging’ once again clinched first place – with 46% of the vote. ‘Branded packaging’ was second (31%), followed by ‘bespoke packaging’ (23%). The results were perhaps not that surprising. Sustainability was upfront in many minds with the launch of Plastic Packaging Tax the previous year. Plus, from this month, packaging producers were required by law to start collecting their packaging data for the Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging scheme.

We also discovered a common theme affecting businesses outside of our customer base. Many felt they were stuck with their existing packaging supplier, despite unsatisfactory service, because of their packaging stock agreement. So, we shared a blog on how it’s easier than you think to transfer your agreement to another supplier.

Our social posts included a video explaining the factors that affect print quality on packaging, and one on the role of dust flaps on boxes and folding cartons.


A year to the day that Plastic Packaging Tax was introduced, the Government increased the cost. The fee rose from £200 to £210.82 per tonne of plastic packaging made or imported into the UK. This new rate took effect from 1st April and was in line with the Consumer Price Index. As before, the tax was due to be paid on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic. The threshold remained the same, so it continued to impact manufacturers/importers handling more than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year.

This month, we were proud to become a Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) (FSC®- C186587) certified company.

Following a lot of work behind the scenes, we relaunched The Actionpoint Portal (TAP) with a raft of user-friendly features. The new-look TAP makes it easy for customers to view their orders, call-offs, and stock levels in real-time using their smartphone or other devices. Handy reports can be run at the click of a button to track usage or packaging waste, and there’s automatic upload of proof of delivery.


Actionpoint expanded its pool of talent with a flurry of new starters. Lauren Cornwall, Simon Till, and Danielle Highlands joined our Sales Team. Craig Turner joined the Logistics Team as HGV driver, while Andy Smith took up the role of Packaging Engineer, bringing nearly 30 years of industry experience with him.

Continuing our goal to share knowledge, we created a video on cherry locks, including how they work, and why you should consider them in your packaging design.

With so much confusion abounding about Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging, we shared a blog explaining the story so far and what lies ahead for packaging producers.


The launch of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) was postponed. It was originally going to begin back in July 2022 and be the UK’s first DRS. But the date was pushed back to August 2023, then to March 2024, and finally to October 2025 – in line with the planned start date for DRS schemes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Government blamed Westminster for the latest delay – specifically for not exempting the scheme from the UK’s Internal Market Act 2020. DRS works by incurring an additional charge on single-use drinks containers. This ‘deposit’ is returned when the container is recycled at a DRS return point.

At Actionpoint, we shared a video demonstrating how easy it is to assemble a crash-lock box, and one showcasing a can selection box to celebrate Beer Day Britain. Plus a video showing how a standard sized box can be combined with a bespoke internal fitment to create the perfect presentation box.


The full introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging, including payment of fees, was deferred to October 2025 – the same time the UK’s Deposit Return Schemes are due to launch. The UK Government cited high prices caused by inflation as the main reason for the delay. It said postponing EPR will support consumers and businesses while giving industry more time to prepare.

Over at Actionpoint, we welcomed Bryce Reeves to the team in the role of Business Development Assistant.

Our social media output included an instructional video on how to load a tape dispenser like a pro, featuring paper E-Tape from our Eden range, and a video explaining the key differences between standard and bespoke packaging.

Added to this, there were some blogs, including all you need to know about bioplastics and packaging, how to boost savings and sustainability with an Insight packaging review,  and the good, the bad, and the ugly about polythene packaging.


The UK Government opened a consultation on how to identify chemically recycled plastic for the purposes of Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT). This is because it isn’t always possible to distinguish between virgin plastic and chemically recycled plastic – meaning some businesses are paying PPT when they are not liable to the tax. The consultation looked at taking a mass balance approach to account for chemically recycled plastic. This approach is a ‘chain of custody’ model that tracks materials as they move through the value chain. Feedback was being sought from industry and interested parties on adopting this approach, including the different mass balance models, and the use of certification schemes.

In Actionpoint news, Dawn Robinson joined the team this month as Head of Marketing.

We also shared a video giving a guided tour of The Actionpoint Portal (TAP) and its new features, and a video of a bespoke packaging solution with corrugated cardboard fitment and cherry locks. Plus, we made an educational video explaining fluting and how it impacts your packaging.

We also published a blog on how our Insight packaging review targets the three key areas where companies need the most help: packaging efficiency, sustainability, and design.


Recycle Week’s theme was The Big Recycling Hunt. The 2023 campaign focused on ‘missed capture’ – and for good reason! A whopping 81% of people place one or more items in their general rubbish that could have gone in household recycling. With 89% of people regularly recycling their waste, there is certainly an appetite for recycling. But consumers need a better understanding of how to dispose of their waste.

Packaging producers were given more time to submit their packaging data for the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme. Previously, large producers were required to submit their first packaging data reports by 1st October 2023, and their second reports by 1st April 2024. Instead, they were given until 31st May 2024 to provide both. The data will be used to calculate EPR fees, which will be introduced in October 2025.

We ran a LinkedIn poll to find out businesses’ main goals for their plastic packaging. The answers in joint top position, gathering 33% of the votes apiece, were to ‘use less plastic’ and to ‘use recycled/recyclable plastic’. The next most popular response was ‘swap for green alternatives’ and in last place was ‘no plans to change plastic use’.

We were proud to announce that Actionpoint had experienced significant growth of 37% over the past two years, thanks to the unwavering support of our customers and dedicated team. This exciting time has seen the expansion of our operations with new staff members, a wider range of products, and the continued success of our Insight reviews and Packaging Creation Lounge. Onward and upward!

In addition, we shared a video on our registered design for a plastic-free bespoke packaging solution, designed to protect paint cans in transit. Another video showed the huge savings that can be made with Eden E-Stretch palletwrap. We also made a video explaining what die cut boxes are and the benefits of using them.

As well as a busy month, September was an unusually hot one, so we decided to surprise local children’s football team Upchurch Colts FC with a donation of 25 branded water bottles.


The UK Government introduced a ban on the following single-use plastic items: plates, bowls, trays, cutlery, balloon sticks, and polystyrene containers for ready-to-consume food or drink. The ban covered all types of single-use plastic including biodegradable, compostable, and recycled. The move followed 2020’s veto on single-use plastic straws, cotton buds, and drink stirrers.

At Actionpoint, our sales teams got their spook on, dishing out hair-raising Halloween treat boxes created by our devilishly clever in-house designers. The boxes doubled as terror-ific lanterns for recipients to light up and enjoy!


The European Parliament laid out its position on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). Highlights included: by 2030 all packaging to be designed to be recyclable (exempting wood and wax food packaging). Overall packaging reduction targets of 5% by 2030, and 10% by 2035. Reusable/refillable packaging to be more clearly defined. 90% of packaging materials to be collected separately by 2029. Plastic in particular was singled out – heavily restricting certain single-use packaging, banning PFAs and Bisphenol A in food packaging, and setting plastic waste reduction targets.

This month, Actionpoint introduced honeycomb packing roll to our ever-increasing range of sustainable voidfill. Made of Kraft paper, honeycomb is lightweight, recyclable, and biodegradable. Its hexagonal structure creates incredibly strong protection while dramatically reducing packaging bulk and waste.

We also shared a blog giving a deep dive into our Insight Design packaging review.

In November, we relaunched our Employee of the Month scheme and Gemma Wellesley was named the winner for October. She was praised for her outstanding customer service, ‘can do’ attitude, and willingness to help wherever she can. Gemma’s spin on Actionpoint’s Prize Wheel landed on the chance to pick a team member to make her drinks in the office for a week – and lucky Lauren Cornwall got the job!

Christmas came early for Actionpoint when we won Best Small Business at the Maidstone Business Awards – and we were finalists for the Family Business category. It was the second year in a row we picked up an award at this event, after collecting a hat trick of trophies for Customer Service, Innovation, and Creative Digital in 2022.


Simon Till was announced as our fabulous Employee of the Month for November. He was chosen for his hard work in the implementation of new processes and tools for the business. Simon spun the Actionpoint Prize Wheel and won the choice of a Gin or Wine Tasting voucher for two people.

While some businesses were winding down for the festive season, we were ramping up our activity, including exciting preparations for the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics Show in February 2024.

In December, we officially opened our books for Packaging Creation Lounge appointments in 2024. Over the past 12 months, we have welcomed countless businesses to the Lounge and solved their packaging problems. We tackled damage rates, eco impact, unboxing experience, packing rates, costs, and more – and we can’t wait to see what challenges are in store for the year ahead!

Throughout 2023, we continued to invest in resources, including new case optimisation and strength testing software for our Creative Team. This greatly helped to speed up the process of spec’ing new bespoke packaging products. In fact, our talented in-house designers really knocked it out of the park this year, raising well over 1,000 new designs perfectly tailored to clients’ needs.

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PET (1) and HDPE (2) are widely accepted in household recycling waste. Soft/flexible LDPE (4) products like carrier bags can be taken to supermarkets. Remember that recycling facilities differ between councils, so check with your local authority to see what you can put in your home recycling bin.



PET or PETE. Polyethylene terephthalate e.g. soft drink bottles, fruit punnets.



HDPE. High-density polyethylene e.g. milk bottles, shampoo bottles



PVC. Polyvinyl chloride e.g. window frames, shower curtains, toys.



LDPE. Low-density polyethylene e.g. carrier bags, rings/yokes for multipacks of cans.



PP. Polypropylene e.g. bottle caps, margarine tubs, carrier bags.



PS. Polystyrene e.g. takeaway cups and containers, yoghurt pots.