Innovation: Sustainable Clip Strips

Plastic clip strips have long been a staple in retail settings, enticing impulse purchases straight from the shelves. 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.

Recognising the need for change, the Swanline design team decided to develop a sustainable alternative to plastic clip strips that could be used again and again, or recycled at end of life. Extensive research revealed the pervasive use of plastic across major supermarkets, highlighting the urgent necessity for eco-friendly solutions. We researched the extensive range of clip strip units available in all major supermarkets and found that unfortunately, most 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 to reliably hold products and durability to ensure longevity, using sustainable paper-based materials.

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

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.
  • Longevity, as they typically remain in store for 3 weeks or more.
  • Cost effective compared to a plastic strip.

Through meticulous prototyping and testing, we discovered that our Cygnus Eco Board offered the perfect balance of strength, durability, and sustainability. Made from 100% paper-based board, that is water-resistant but also fully recyclable, and compostable, meeting the stringent demands of retail environments without relying on plastic.

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

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