Making our packaging lighter and greener

Some might think I am a bit sad, but I read ALL the customer feedback we get via our enquiry and Ekomi review system. There are several key themes of feedback, but there is one niggling subject that seems to divide people equally – “my order was over packed – why do you use so much packaging?” and “my order arrived damaged – why don’t you use more packaging?” We therefore spend a lot of time testing new packaging materials with the aim of reducing the amount we use while seeking to get every order delivered complete and undamaged.

So we’ve been on the hunt for greener packaging alternatives that are resilient enough to make sure your order arrives in one piece. And we have found some great products that fit the bill.

Firstly, over the last year, we have moved to stronger but lighter boxes that provide better protection for your products whilst reducing the weight of cardboard being used. (In fact if whole the whole UK packaging industry followed suit, carbon emissions related to packaging transportation would be reduced by over 30% overnight!)

Secondly, we have switched over to even greener packing materials:

  • green bubble mailer – the outer paper is recycled and all the elements are either recyclable or degradable
  • green bubble wrap – this is made from a significant proportion of recycled materials and is also recyclable in many areas
  • green void fill – this is an inflated cellophane sack that is made from recycled bottles and is recyclable and protects your products in transit.

The last one is particular favourite as it’s called Cell-O Green and is just character different from Cee Lo Green – the US rapper who won best international male artist at the Brits this year. Although he doesn’t know, Cee Lo Green is the star of choice when it comes to packing your parcels efficiently and ecologically. Cee Lo Green may sing about “forgetting you”, but we reckon that Cell-O Green will help make sure you know we’ve not forgotten you or our duty of care for the environment when it comes to getting your order in the best possible shape.

We’d love to know what you think of the innovative steps we’re taking to reduce our environmental footprint while better protecting your precious parcels, and we’d be delighted if you let us know how we could do better – just drop us a comment below!

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  • Helen Downie

    Fantastic! Now how can we get the rest of the UK to follow suite??

  • Ruth Anslow

    Ooh, I never imagined “green void fill” could thrill – but it has! Maybe I should get out more…

  • Mark

    Whatever you are using it’s not doing its job properly: 🙁 http://picasaweb.google.com/msouthgate/EthicalSuperstorePackagingFail

    • Hi Mark, Wow – that parcel is in a terrible state. Did you contact us at the time for refund and for us to investigate what had gone wrong? Looks like the courier company had trampled the box. Do try us again. The innovations mentioned in this blog have been implemented over the last 3 months and I can see your pictures were taken at Christmas time last year. Feel free to email me directly (andy@ethicalsuperstore.com) or the customer service team at enquiries@ethicalsuperstore.com to discuss this further.
      Thanks
      Andy

  • Alison Goodhew

    It’s great that you’re trying to make your packaging both green and strong, as I’ve had a few broken items in the past. Unfortunately I can’t recycle the bubble wrap or air bags so I’m trying to reuse them, but currently have a huge box full with no use for them!

  • Mary Finean

    Have you tried screwed up newspaper sheets for packaging? They are quite strong and make good firelighters. They can be interesting reading for anyone in another country – maybe just the ones with pictures for them? They also recycle.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      We have considered newspaper and many of our products which are shipped from India or Bangladesh are supplied in boxes with scrunched or shredded newspaper inside. We haven’t found a practical way of doing that in the UK mainly because newsprint is so dirty and there is the risk of items in white boxes becoming marked prior to shipping. For some this is not a problem, but for those who have bought items as a gift, this is a problem.

      Andy

  • Debs

    A while ago I had some parcels from Australia that used a paper made from recycled plantain leaves, and the actual packing material was a type of expanded corn starch (looked like Wotsits without the cheese coating). The cardboard box was recycled as well. All these materials can be shredded an put in my compost, unless I recycle them by re-use.
    Just an idea, the aussies are very good at renewables and recycling it seems,