Case Study – Sustainable Clip Strips

Plastic clip strips have been prevalent in retail outlets for many years.  They encourage impulse buys directly from retail shelving. Clip strips are ideal for instant merchandising and for retailers and supermarkets to boost average order value. They offer a simple and cost-effective way to up-sell and cross-sell from shelves, but unfortunately as they are usually made out of plastic, they are not environmentally friendly or sustainable.

The Swanline design team decided to develop a sustainable alternative to plastic clip strips. visited all the major retail supermarkets, such as Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc and reviewed We researched the extensive range of clip strips units available in all major supermarkets and found that unfortunately, the vast majority of clip strips were indeed produced from plastic.  Whilst a single unit might look innocuous with up to 20 units per aisle across multiple retailers, and continuous replenishment this accumulates to a substantial amount of plastic usage.

Swanline initially targeted the most generic clip strip design, with the intention of replicating it with sufficient strength and durability using sustainable paper-based materials.

The vertical design is used for a multitude of products and is considered to be the ‘standard’ plastic clip stip.

The design team wanted to retain the following features:

  • Hold the product securely.
  • Allow the product to be removed for purchase easily without any structural damage.
  • Flexibility, with the ability to concertina for transportation.
  • Good longevity as they typically remain in store for 3 weeks or more
  • Similar cost to the mass-produced plastic strip.

After a period of prototyping and testing we found that the best material to achieve our desired results was our Cygnus Eco Board. This is a 100% paper-based board that is not only water resistant, but 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable as well as fulfilling the needed characteristics of a ‘standard’ clip strip – without any of the plastic.

The final designs were easily shoppable, simply replenished or disposed of and maximised branding potential. Most importantly, they were completely sustainable and were cost effective without compromising on quality. The sustainable clip strip was born and is now being used in stores nationwide, in various shapes and sizes.

If you’re looking for a sustainable packaging solution and a biodegradable alternative to plastic, then get in touch with Swanline Group here.