Greener Packaging for EthicalSuperstore.com

Back in January our Managing Director Andy wrote a blog “Our 2009 pledge to you” and asked for your feedback and comments. We were really pleased by the number of you who took the time to write in and leave some great feedback and ideas. Thanks!

From your responses it became clear that packaging was an issue close to many of your hearts. Unfortunately a great deal of packaging often just goes straight to landfill, so in the belief that through small changes each of us can make a big difference, I decided to review our current packaging and find greener, more eco-friendly alternatives.

One of the main bones of contention mentioned by many of you was our use of bubble wrap. As an ethical company, bubble wrap is a great source of conflict as it unfortunately isn’t green (eco-friendly I mean!). It is annoyingly necessary to protect glass and fragile items with bubble wrap but the plastic nature of the product means it creates waste that fills up landfills and takes many years to biodegrade.  This was the first item that I wanted to change and I was so pleased to find a wonderful new green alternative to this conundrum – biodegradle bubble wrap.  GeoBubble has the same benefits as traditional bubble wrap – protecting orders from damage while in transit but, what is so fantastic is it will safely dissolve naturally into the environment. And it is a lovely green colour too!

Another element we wanted to change was the way that we pack our bottles. Fragile products need extra protection, but frankly our old cardboard bottle holders required a degree in advanced origami to assemble! Our new wine bottle holders are now made from reconstituted paper and are pretty robust as this video demonstrates. They’re made from 100% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable too, helping to minimise the amount of rubbish that gets sent to landfill. It makes a great excuse to buy one of our fab ethical wines!

All of the paper that we use to pack our boxes and protect your orders during transit is recycled, and with no waxy lining you can recycle this paper all over again, not to mention the fact that it’s compostable too. Another eco-friendly packaging favourite is Eco-Flo packing, which looks and functions like polyestyrene, but biodegrades exceptionally quickly (check out our video clip in The Great Packaging Debate blog post).

As often as we can we reuse old boxes which means your package sometimes doesn’t look as pretty as it could, but the ecological benefits defiantly outweigh the negatives. If we can’t find a box to reuse, we use new boxes which are specially manufactured without wax, so can therefore either be recycled or you can use them to build a fort/time machine in your living room!

We hope you’ll agree that we’re heading in the right direction with our packaging and practices, but we are always on the lookout for new inspiration so if you have any ideas we would love to hear from you.

Steenie

Born and raised in music halls, Steenie spent 7 years at the Sorbonne studying Drama before taking to the stage with the Jesmond Jesters in their infamous production of Oliver.

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