We made a commitment to reduce packaging (and to recycle) when we began by providing our core products ‘unpacked’ so that you could purchase one or one hundred with as little packaging as possible. Most of our customers are making stationery and so this made perfect sense to us. We endeavour to keep to this, always trying to balance that fine line between the amount of packaging that we use, yet making sure that your products reach you in ‘tip top’ condition.
We use various items to pack your products at the point of dispatch, we feel it’s important to make sure your products are well protected in transit from the rigours of the postal system and also the rain! We’ve recently introduced, and are trialling, a recycled honeycomb paper to replace traditional bubble wrap where possible. We’ve innovated the use of ‘corners’ that reduce the amount of void fill required when we post out small quantities of A4 sheets.
The cello wrap or bags we use when we post your order protects your order from water ingress and it’s made from a film substrate known as polypropylene which comes in two main forms OPP, (Orientated Polyprop and CPP Cast Polyprop). It is recyclable via council refuse collections which are partnered with a recycling scheme. This type of cello can be recycled into low grade plastics such as carrier bags and plastic bottles. It’s best to check with your local council if cello can be placed in your plastics bin to recycle.
We also use cello bags to individually wrap our greeting cards for the point of sale, this protects them especially with the majority of them being handmade. The greeting card industry in general is looking at alternative ways of packing these for retail but the general consensus seems to be (especially for handmade cards) that retailers and customers prefer the product wrapped (it enhances the products and offers additional protection). We’ve already made the move from using additional cello bags for our packs of cards and are making the transition to recycled paper bands, this should filter through to retail in the next month or so. While both the cello and the shrink film (polyolefin) we use on our giftware is recyclable it’s best to check with your local council on how best to recycle these products. We feel that it's important that we get this message across to the consumer.
PLA (Corn Starch film) is an alternative to polyprop and it is compostable but it ‘crinkles’ and creases quite easily and degrades quickly when exposed to moisture, so for the moment it's unsuitable for our use.
There are definitely improvements to be made in the recycle chain and in our understanding of it. We can all make a difference by making small changes and increasing our understanding and awareness as this ultimately will drive mass change.