An example of packing crates used by Bradley’s Furniture Carriers.

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The World Meteorogical Organisation (WMO) has been unequivocal in its prediction of catastrophic climate change, while, in Britain, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on National Security Strategy has published dire forebodings with regard to the impact of climate change on our critical national infrastructure if we continue to miss net zero climate targets due to rising pollution.

On the face of it the art, and particularly the antiques, trade is in large measure the beneficiary of the growing enthusiasm for ‘pre-loved’ goods. By definition, all historic art and antiques are secondhand and thus impose very small carbon footprints.

The carbon footprint of pre-loved goods themselves is negligible, but their marketing, packing and transport remain a potent source of atmospheric pollution.

For the art and antiques trade the immediate focus must be on reducing the huge quantities of single-use plastics currently used, and the use of extravagant wooden packing cases so-constructed as to prevent their dismantling and the re-use of their constituent materials.

These concerns need to be addressed in the context of unnecessarily rapid transport and delivery. Public awareness of the acute financial pressures being exerted on packing and transport budgets for major international loan exhibitions has been alerted by the threatened cancellation of the Guido Reni exhibition scheduled for summer 2023 in the Prado Madrid.

By developing imaginative fresh approaches to packing and by consolidating transportation thus leading to more eco-friendly collection and delivery schedules, huge reductions in carbon emissions can be achieved as well as lower operating costs. ‘Just-in-time’ transport should be outlawed and all packing materials should be chosen to be re-usable, not twice but many times.

I recall, in Birmingham, an elderly sales assistant in a distinguished stationery shop telling me that when he first entered the firm the first job in the morning was to carefully untie the string and unpack incoming goods, smoothing out the packing paper ready for re-use. May the Good Lord deliver us from the horrors of bubble wrap with adhesive tape applied to the wrong side.

Useful links for green packaging and advice

■ Antiques Are Green

■ Gallery Climate Coalition

■ Rokbox

■ Dav Pack

■ DS Smith

■ Eco Packaging Solutions

■ Kingfisher Packaging

■ Noissue

■ Polybags

■ Prior Direct

■ The Green Stationery Company