Change to BPCRS packaging to reduce environmental impact

From early September, we will be replacing the polystyrene vial boxes in British Pharmacopoeia Chemical Reference Substance (BPCRS) orders with cardboard packaging, to help reduce our impact on the environment.  

What the change will look like 

Currently, polystyrene BPCRS vial boxes are used (see Image 1) which can hold up to 3 BPCRS vials. 

Image 1: Example of polystyrene BPCRS vial box.

These polystyrene BPCRS vial boxes will be replaced with cardboard packaging (see Image 2) that will be able to contain 9 vials per box.  

Image 2: Example of the new cardboard packaging.

Why this is happening 
Changing from polystyrene packaging to cardboard packaging will have significant environmental benefits. Based on published Government greenhouse gas reporting conversation factors, for the same weight of material, the CO2 equivalent emissions associated with the production of cardboard are 77% lower than those for polystyrene. Further to this, given that 3 polystyrene boxes would be needed to store the equivalent 9 vials, the 1 cardboard box gives a weight saving and therefore an even greater environmental impact reduction.   

In addition, BPCRS customers will be able to more easily reuse or recycle this cardboard packaging.  

Ensuring effective transportation of BP primary standards
The BP Laboratory has carried out a series of stress tests including worst-case scenarios of cold shipment failures, with no issues observed.  Further evaluation is planned as we bring this change into our ISO 9001:2015 scope.

We will be monitoring these changes and addressing any issues if they occur. If you have any questions, please contact