Our quest to improve our packaging: part II

Our quest to improve our packaging: part II

Things are moving on in our quest to improve our packaging (you can read the first part of the journey here). Here’s where we’re at now in our adventure to make our packaging plastic-free and recyclable.


Step 4 - We’ve found some recyclable brown boxes from a local packaging supplier so we send these to our suppliers. We hope that they can recreate them as we don’t want to have to buy them and then ship them to the suppliers as this is not only expensive but we’d like to think that cardboard boxes should be sourcable locally wherever they’re coming from. 


Step 5 - Our suppliers come back telling us that it will be very expensive to recreate these boxes. Unfortunately they are focussing completely on the text and images on the box (which we don’t want or need) rather than the actual material and function of the box itself. D’oh!  

They also tell us that it wil be tricky to achieve as each different product needs a different sized box. This will also result in higher shipping costs as they will take up more space. 

Due to expense, lack of supplier enthusiasm and needing to focus on other things, our conversations are put on hold for personal sanity reasons.

Step 6 – We received a personal Amazon delivery that has been delivered in  a rather interesting brown bag… we take photos and send these to the supplier, and then send the actual ripped open Amazon delivery bag. This can be fastened up so one size should fit a couple of different sized products.  Well, if it works for Amazon and it has the recyclable symbol on it then you think that it would suit us!


Step 7 – We get samples from our supplier based on the bags described and shown above. There are two different thicknesses to choose from. And the bonus is that these bags are actually made from recycled stuff too! Testing ensues to ensure they are sturdy enough. We take a selection of products and send them to ourselves.

Step 8 – In doing this we realise the self-adhesive tape at the top of the bag is rubbish so we have to use Sellotape to fasten it. Sellotape is not recyclable so, sadly, defeats the purpose of this whole exercise!

Step 9 – Hooray: all the items come back to us in the post looking good. The supplier advises that the self-adhesive tape will be better on the actual mass production; these were just ‘samples’.  So what exactly would these be like in mass production? Can we look before we order thousands of them? Nope, appears not...

Step 10 – One last thought at this stage: are these samples actually recyclable? Obviously we are being told they are but we know we need to test and verify these claims. The next stage of the quest beckons… 


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