CASE STUDY: replacing plastic packaging

How an innovative business card box designed by Antalis is helping Commercial Foundation to reach its goal of no plastic.

Business cards are just one of the digital and wide format print and promotional merchandise offerings from WE DO. Print whose workers are young people attending the #NoLimits course run by Commercial Foundation.  This social enterprise was established in 2015 and supports disadvantaged young people to develop practical skills to help them find a job or future career.

Commercial Foundation were packing their orders for business cards into standard 70 mm-high plastic business card boxes which were then packed in a bubble-lined mailing bag for posting. As well as not being very environmentally friendly, the packages were also too big to fit through letterboxes.

A drive to reduce its use of plastics prompted the Commercial Foundation to seek a more user- and environmentally friendly alternative.


After taking the time to understand the complete process around WE DO. Print’s business card service, Antalis Smart Packaging Centre came up with workable solution.

Using the information provided, Antalis’s packaging technologists put forward three options: a box and lid design and two variations based on the 0427 pizza box structure. The team also advised on the possibilities of printing the box to enhance the customer experience.

Commercial Foundation’s preferred design of the three was an 0427 style box with four compartments, made from FSC-certified board. It allows the customer address to be affixed to one side of the box and space for a message from Commercial Foundation along with environmental information is printed on the other sides. The new box was put through its paces to assess ease of assembly, durability, and postability. Following the successful trial, the box is now in use and is bringing numerous benefits to both Commercial Foundation and its customers:

  • Customer experience – more convenient and easier to recycle – aligning with public demand for more environmentally friendly products – the cardboard box also offers a handy place to store the business cards.
  • Environmental – Made from FSC-certified board, the new box design has eliminated use of plastic and secondary packaging materials. It can also be recycled easily.
  • Cost saving – the new box design is slightly more expensive than the plastic box being used originally, however the elimination of the secondary packaging has resulted in an overall cost reduction.

Ian Whitcombe, National Key Account Manager for Antalis Packaging, commented: “The whole project, from the initial consultation to roll-out took just six weeks. It’s a great example of how taking the time to really listen to our customers’ needs, challenges and frustrations can result in    a really innovative box design that achieves far more than the original goal.”

Written by Kevin Gambrill