Becoming More Sustainable - Packaging

Do you ever order from a website and feel a little guilt about the amount of plastic there is for that one parcel? There are certain brands that I’ve ordered from in the past where each individual item comes in its own plastic wrap which are then inside another plastic bag. I definitely feel like I want to see more eco friendly packaging being used. I think about this as a customer but also as a small business owner, I make clay jewellery. I want to ensure that my business represents my values as an individual and that customers are happy with every part of their purchase, not just the product.


 Ad - Contains Sponsored Link

Photo by Klára Vernarcová on Unsplash

I’ve noticed that some brands have started using biodegradable plastic packaging for shipping out their goods, I thought this was a great step and in some ways it still is. However, I read an update from sustainable brand “Nobody’s Child” on why they have chosen not to use this material for their shipments:

“We do not currently use oxo-degradable or biodegradable plastics in our packaging although it is something we have explored. Our reason for this is that oxo-degradable plastic needs oxygen to degrade, and biodegradable plastics also need specific conditions to decompose, so if it gets sent deep into landfill it may not decompose due to the lack of oxygen and UV light.”

I found this really interesting because I’ve never read anything about the biodegradable plastic needing certain conditions or really considered the best way to dispose of it. I definitely want to do some more research into this for my own knowledge and so I better understand how to ensure the packaging is disposed of the best way. Luckily for me, this isn’t a huge problem for my small business as my jewellery products are quite delicate, I use cardboard packaging.

With the cardboard packaging, I still need to use something to protect the product inside the parcel and then tape up the box. I need to ensure it looks nice as well. I order from small businesses myself, especially as it comes up to Christmas, so I tend to take note of how the parcel is packaged and what they’ve used inside Some have come with little notes to ask the buyer to recycle the packaging, some have come in entirely cardboard and paper packaging, brown paper is often used to fill gaps in the boxes which is better than masses of bubble wrap. It’s great to see small businesses doing their part to support the environment!

When it comes to packaging boxes it’s fairly easy to find a pretty big variety of eco-friendly options. They’re perfect for my small business but also when I’m sending goodies over to family members (which is happening more regularly now that we aren’t getting to see each other much!). So my next step is to find an alternative to bubble wrap and the tape that I use on my parcels. At the moment I’m using standard parcel tape on my packages. I’ve found that there are kraft paper options available and so I’m looking into this at the moment for my own shop. I also think, come Christmas time I’ll be able to use it to package up presents in a more environmentally friendly way!

Do you have any plastic free solutions for when you send a parcel? Or do you have your own business that you have experience with using plastic free parcels? It would be great to hear your thoughts and ideas.

As we get closer to December I plan on writing up a round up of my own research and what you share to put together another post on plastic free solutions to packaging 😊

Chelsea Jade