National Geographic Kids goes plastic free!

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It’s no secret that single-use plastics are unsustainable. The Big Plastic Count recently revealed that nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging are thrown away by UK households ever year, and just 12% is recycled in the UK. That’s an astounding amount of unnecessary plastic. Thankfully, in recent years, there has been an explosion of public awareness about the negative impact of single-use plastics on our planet. This public awareness has led to greater demand for plastic-free products; with calls for brands to step up their sustainability game if they want to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.

At Creature & Co., we are passionate about promoting sustainability for people, wildlife, and the planet, and we believe in leading by example. That’s why we’re so excited to share that we have helped our client National Geographic Kids Magazine go 100% plastic free! But how did we do this? And why do brands need to do better for our planet? Let’s find out…


Why did National Geographic Kids Magazine need to go ‘100% plastic free’?

Here at Creature & Co. our fantastic, in-house editorial team produces two editions of National Geographic Kids magazine each month: one for the UK/Ireland markets and one for Australia/New Zealand. We create magazines that are fun, educational, and inspirational. By encouraging an interest in the environment from a young age, we support kids as they help create change together moving forward.

Between April 2021 and March 2022, we sold 291,497 copies of the National Geographic Kids Magazine for the UK/Ireland market and 121,560 copies for the Australia/New Zealand market. That’s a lot of magazines which equated to a lot of plastic waste. Creature & Co. and National Geographic Kids are both constantly taking new steps to improve our impact on the world, so making magazines that included a plastic gift and glossy cover no longer fit with our company ethos. We are both passionate about helping play a part in solving the plastic pollution crisis, which meant we needed to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, and that’s why we had to help National Geographic Kids Magazine go 100% plastic free.




How did we help National Geographic Kids Magazine go ‘100% plastic free’?

Both Creature & Co. and National Geographic Kids are committed to using sustainable practices in everything we do. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy to dramatically change the way the magazine was made, so we listed the key components that went into making the monthly magazine and then set about improving each until we could say it was 100% plastic free. Here’s what we did…

  • We removed all plastic packaging from our subscription magazines and replaced it with a recycled paper envelope.
  • We completely removed plastic gifts from our magazines and replaced them with plastic free gifts that are just as, if not more fun than ever before.
  • We switched from a plastic-coated glossy cover on our monthly magazines to 100% recycled paper.
  • Our newstrade monthly magazines are now sold in paper envelopes which means we no longer need to fasten our gifts with tape.
  • As well as this, printing the magazine on 100% recycled paper now makes it FSC certified, meaning it comes from responsibly managed forests and other sources that meet specific environmental and social standards.

The best part? We have made National Geographic Kids Magazine plastic free without compromising on its quality. It’s still the same magazine that kids (and parents) know and love. Each issue is still packed full of fascinating features and facts, gorgeous posters, brain-teasing puzzles and exciting competitions.

These magazine changes prove how we can make an impact on our planet by doing more with less. Since making the switch to 100% plastic free packaging and gifts, we have saved over 100,000 metres of tape, 1.6 million plastic bags and 729,000 plastic toys from circulation, per year: that’s all the same fun, educational and inspirational content with a much smaller impact on the planet.

We’re super proud of the work we do with National Geographic Kids and how the magazine has helped create a new benchmark for sustainability in kids’ publishing. We hope to contribute our expertise in more ways as the brand continues its journey towards a more sustainable future. We recently documented the magazine’s sustainability journey on the National Geographic Kids website, check it out here.

We believe the magazine’s decision to ditch plastic is a great example of the power of consumers and retailers to hold brands accountable for their environmental impact. It’s a sign that our planet is changing.


Could your brand be doing more to care for our planet? We’d love to hear from you! Our door is always open for a free, informative chat, to help you figure out how to make a difference.


Get in touch at [email protected]

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