It's been a year since we opened our cyber doors and we've learnt a thing or two along the way. With Plastic Free July upon us it was time to revisit how we packaged things . . . to see if we could do better.
When we started working on the logistics for our Plastic Free Store we wanted to provide the best plastic free packaging we could find.
Our first concept for the packaging inside the box, to protect the products was to use the most natural material possible. Being a lover of wood materials, my partner suggested we use wood wool. While this is a fantastic natural product and provided great cushioning. It wasn't the most practical item for people to receive in their packaging. The other major issue was that it came packaged in plastic. So that was a big no right there.
Next we sought out a local suppler of wood wool, this turned out to be more like wood shavings. And while we cut out the plastic, sourced it locally, and the wood came from off cuts, it was a little on the sawdust side. Not a great option.
Surfing the web I came across the perfect solution! A cardboard dispenser unit that allowed you to cut off rolls of die cut kraft paper with white tissue in between. No plastic, looks beautiful and provides great protection for the products in transit.
We added a hemp rope tie to the package to keep the content secure. It's also nice to open your box to find a natural ribbon keeping it in place!
We love this packaging so much it's here to stay!
Next up was to take a look at the boxes we were using. They fit the criteria — cardboard boxes, but they required taping and the majority of them are too large for the size of parcels we're shipping. So we've replaced the smaller boxes with simple die cut cardboard boxes that require just a small amount of tape to ensure security!
Although we were able to source some packing tape that was made from natural materials we had our doubts about whether it was truly eco-friendly. It was also delivered individually packaged in plastic, we're onto our last roll now and it will be the next item phase out.
We also trialled sending our parcels in Home Compostable Hero bags, these were often used on small parcels due to requirements from delivery companies. The Hero bags are still being used but only for parcels over 500g and only when sending via Australia Post. Hopefully those regulations will be changed in the coming months. While home compostable is a great alternative to plastic delivery bags, the reality is in order for the bag to break down it must be composted, so we'd prefer to ship your parcels without the bags where possible.
That's where EORTH currently stand with our Plastic Free Packaging in 2019. Look for updates in 2020 when we reassess our Plastic Free packaging for Plastic Free July next year!