David Attenborough made Hadleigh company go plastic free

Donny Briggs, managing director of Hadleigh Maid. The company is going plastic free following a 2017

Donny Briggs, managing director of Hadleigh Maid. The company is going plastic free following a 2017 David Attenborough film. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A chocolate company based in Hadleigh is launching a plastic free collection – after being inspired by a David Attenborough documentary.

Gavin Bowie, sales and marketing director at Hadleigh Maid, was watching the BBC show Blue Planet 2 back in 2017 when he decided to bring in the initiative.

The show grabbed headlines after it showed a whale calf that had died due to the amount of pollution in the ocean.

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Mr Bowie said: "When you start understanding just how much plastic is dumped in the sea it's terrible. It's something like a 20ft container full of plastic is dumped in the sea every half a minute. And then you look at your product range and realise that you're just as guilty. Small companies like us have got the opportunity to lead the way. With big companies it takes so long to turn the ship because of how much stock they have to order."

The company then started to remove plastic from their packaging in an effort to make it biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.

This involved removing plastic film from the boxes and the plastic trays that the individual chocolates sat in.

Removing the trays that chocolates sit in proved particularly challenging because the colour of the chocolate will leach on to white cardboard.

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The answer came in a zero plastic greaseproof material produced by a company called delipac.

Removing the plastic film also gave the company the chance to change up their box design.

Currently the company have a limited plastic free selection which includes the chocolates they produce with East Anglia's Children's Hospice

"If it stayed cost neutral or only cost a bit more then we were always going to do it. We just do this because we care about the environment. I've got two youngsters who care about the planet and I think we all should too.

"We have probably the first fully biodegradable chocolate box in the world."

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