I have always been impressed, sirs,” said Gnomepac on his visit to the far off place called Daneland, “with the way your kingdom is always kept so neat and tidy. All the old wrappings are collected by eager elves and burned in giant kettles. Then the steam is used to make your homes warm and bring energy for cooking and lighting for the darker months. What a clever idea.”

Then he explained that in his own land, the big pixies who live in the great place called London, had decided that gnomes shouldn’t have their own kettles. “They have said they are going to plant thousands of giant windmills instead. These catch the wind and change it into heat and light for us”, said Gnomepac. “They’ve already put them all over our beautiful hillsides and now they are talking about planting them in the sea.”

The Danes then looked at him with some concern. “But don’t windmills need wind?” they asked in unison. “Of course,” he replied, “but we have lots of wind in our land. In any case we will still have what is called ‘back up’, where we burn lots of oil to make our heat and light if the wind doesn’t blow.”

“But here in Daneland our kettles also get rid of all our wrappings which we now call packaging. What happens to your packaging,” enquired the Great Dane with some concern?

Gnomepac sighed deeply: “We bury it in the ground of course, along with something called sense,” he whispered meekly.

John Webb-Jenkins is chief executive of the Institute of Packaging