With growing consumer awareness of plastic pollution, increased consumer demand for more recyclable packaging and rising producer responsibility associated with the UK Government’s proposed plastic packaging tax, reducing our overall packaging has been high on our agenda.

We launched our first Sustainable Packaging Manual, which sets out best practice for the packaging used by all our suppliers on our products. We have reduced our overall use of plastic by around 50 tonnes in the year and virtually eliminated all single-use plastic (plastic that cannot be recycled) on the packaging of our own brand products. Where we need plastic to protect products, we use polyethylene-based materials (which can be recycled) and plastics with recycled content.

A major initiative during the year was to roll out On Pack Recycling Labelling on our products to make it easier for customers to understand the best disposal or recycling option for all packaging types. We also reviewed the feasibility of providing to customers a textiles ‘take back’ scheme.

Plastics and packaging policy - May 2021

We commit to continually reduce the impact of our packaging on the planet, and have three focus areas: less packaging, better packaging, and closed loop packaging. Our targets are set out below:

Less packaging


  • Reduce own brand plastic packaging by 10% by the end of 2022; and by 30% by 2025

Better packaging


  • Own brand plastic packaging to contain average 30% recycled content by 2022, and 50% by 2025
  • Own brand cardboard packaging from 100% sustainable sources by 2025
  • Own brand packaging to be 100% recyclable, by 2025

Closed loop packaging


  • Launch a plastic packaging take back scheme by 2025
  • Ensure there is a full closed packaging loop, reproducing Dunelm Packaging, by 2030


Here are some examples of our progress to date:

Less packaging

  • Removed over 2 tonnes of plastic packaging from our Christmas ranges – e.g. plastic boxes and coverings from our shatterproof bauble and gift wrap range
  • Re-engineered the packaging of our pillow and duvet ranges to take out over 14 tonnes of plastic
  • Within our cook and dine ranges we have removed 1.8 tonnes of plastic bags from various products including pots, pans, utensils, and gadgets

Better packaging

  • All our home delivery mailing bags contain 30% recycled content. We want to increase this by 2022
  • Replaced 35 tonnes of virgin plastic with recycled plastic within our quilts and pillows packaging
  • Removed lamination on our cardboard duvet boxes to ensure they are fully recyclable
  • Removed non-recyclable PVC from the majority of our core and Dorma bedding ranges