You’re likely familiar with the three “R’s” of living a plastic free, zero waste lifestyle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle or even better living by the four “R’s”: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. At EORTH we aim to do this with our product packaging as well.
When purchasing products from our suppliers to stock our plastic free store, it can be challenging and even frustrating when our “plastic free products” come packaged in, you guessed it . . . plastic. Our first method to combat this problem and have an environment where plastic free packaging is the standard is to: Reduce, or where possible, Refuse.
Unfortunately, refusing products because they are shipped from our suppliers in plastic isn’t necessarily an option, so we start with Reduce. Every order we place with our suppliers we make a request for little, or better yet plastic free packaging. This doesn’t always work, but we’ve definitely seen a reduction in the packaging materials we receive by simply asking for less plastic packaging. However, some suppliers will send products wrapped with bubble wrap, or use plastic filled pockets of air for void fill. While this is often well intentioned, essentially we are receiving plastic packaging that’s now our issue to deal with — to recycle. At EORTH we prefer to Reuse before Recycling.
Why send cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and plastic void fill off to recycling when they can be reused? Today a lady moving house will be stopping by our office to pick up these items. She’ll now have a few dozen shipping boxes, bubble wrap and void fill to make her move a little less stressful, and she’s using free, reused materials.
We’ll add one more R to the mix. We will also Request she passes them on when done or makes sure they are recycled properly.
Recycling is an important part of the process to reduce single use plastic usage, but reusing products where possible is the best way to reduce your environmental footprint. We should all strive toward the goal of living a less plastic life.
Let’s hop that in the future plastic free packaging is a standard for all businesses, there are always other options, plastic is not necessary, especially if being used for void fill.
Visit our about page to learn more about EORTH’s packing materials and environmental practices.