One of my achievements last year was getting rid of plastic packaging. I was concerned about the impact each sale would have on the environment. I was using recyclable plastic posting back because they were cheap and easy. Plus like a sheep, I was just doing what everyone else was doing! 

Also do things actually get recycled! Just because they say ‘recyclable’ it doesn’t mean that is what will happen. According to the department of environment food and rural affairs only 45.2% of household waste was actually recycled in 2016. Just think how much is ending up in landfill! 

I made a conscious decision to go plastic free at the end of 2017 and put this in to action in 2018. 

The main problem I had was finding a cost effective alternative. Yes the plastic free option is more expensive, but I feel better about my environmental impact.  

The products I sell are relatively fragile. Thankfully my top selling items fit into a royal mail large letter size, so all I needed to do was find some packaging for that size.    

I am quite good at sourcing new products and have spent many hours doing this so I can get the best option for me.  The large letter boxes come flat pack and take up less space because of this.    Available from https://www.idealsuk.co.uk/product/c6-a6-royal-mail-large-letter-size-box/

The more you order the cheaper they get!

Large letter size box

Bubble wrap and other plastic based cushioning is one of my plastic waste bug bears. I have noticed that a lot of the big online companies having started using paper cushioning when they can which is great.  

I have started using corrugated paper wrap aka Hexel paper. It comes as a flat sheet on a roll and you pull it out to create its corrugated effect. The other great thing about it is that it doesn’t need taping! It clings to itself! Genius!! 

Thanks to www.pivnitabunicii.com (my parents business) for introducing me to this amazing packaging solution.   

Available from http://www.protega-global.com/eco-friendly-packaging-products-for-a-sustainable-future   

Hexel paper

Also available from Protega global is paper tape. This is something that a lot of people don’t even think about. All that plastic tape that gets put on packing has to go somewhere and I’m pretty sure most of it doesn’t get recycled? More waste for landfill!    

I went past a landfill site the other day and there were thousands of birds on it. They eat some of it and take away for nest building. I imagine it’s great for their nests, but it’s a killer for them when they eat it.   

albatross bird feeding her baby plastic

Back to the tape. So yes paper tape is the way forward. Some of the ones available don’t actually stick very well, so make sure you get a good brand. And that it can actually be recycled and biodegradeable.  The best product that I have used and continue to use is Vibac paper tape.  Product info here  https://mailchi.mp/38c39316a5f4/practico-sealing-en-189629  www.vibacgroup.com 

http://www.protega-global.com it’s a fantastic product that is practical and looks really nice as well. If your product is fragile, then just write the words on the tape or box!! Simple.   

Vibac paper tape

So I think that’s it. I’ve probably forgotten something. If you have any questions, please get in touch. I would love it if I could get other people to go plastic free packaging! If you do, let me know via email or social media. All available through my website www.juliet-turnbull.com