Eco Audit of Packaging
I've spent some time this month reviewing the impact my business has on the environment and to assess what changes I can make/ alternatives I can use. I've always had an awareness of the importance of having a light footprint but I felt it was to time to do a proper investigation as there are definitely things I can improve.
Most of my products are meant to be kept after the event. The card I use is recycled and also many of the envelopes. The gift boxes I offer are recycled card and come with a paper raffia and tag, keepsakes come in a tin, cuff links in tin or card box and any linen/ organza bags I include with mirrors etc. are intended to be retained and used with the product. There are some areas I need to look at in relation to products (particularly stickers) but at the moment I'm concentrating on the 'single use' stuff - i.e. packaging.
There are 2 main areas I've been assessing - one is the materials etc. used and the other is whether I can reduce the amount of packaging I use.
I already use paper/ card envelopes and boxes and use paper for filling box space (as opposed to bubble wrap or similar). I also reuse any packaging I receive where possible so I am happy with the outer packaging I use.
The main areas I need to work is any additional inner packaging. I could just put my products straight into the envelope but this troubles me as I want the products to arrive in pristine condition. The majority of my cards are a textured white (recycled) paper and this picks up marks quite easily. If there are a number of loose cards in one envelope the magnets/ badges can mark the surface if they rub against it. My stickers are on sheets and again need to be in good condition over time as they may not be all used immediately. It isn't a good idea to leave mirrors loose in an envelope and again the back of the mirrors/ bottle openers can mark my off white boxes so needs separating in transit. At the moment I use cellophane packets for all of my products and this is something I definitely need to find an alternative for.
For the stickers I am moving to bio degradeable bags which will still protect but are compostable after finished with (so a definite improvement). For the cards, keepsakes etc. I am going to trial glassine bags. These will protect during transit and because they are translucent can be used to store longer term - if not needed immediately (and contents are easily identified without having to keep opening and closing the bag). It has the added benefit of replacing a cellophane & paper bag so a big reduction in amount of packaging.
I still have quite a lot of cellophane bags in stock so this change won't happen straight away but there is one thing I do intend to do immediately. Sealing the cellophane (or glassine) bags needs a tape of some sort and I will be removing my occasional sellotape use with immediate effect and replace with paper tape/ stickers. I am also going to use a paper packaging tape for sealing postal boxes moving forward.