This year I made it my new years resolution to cut down on the plastic that I buy, and it seems many other people did too which I’m very happy to see – and it’s not too late to join us!
We are all aware of just how bad the plastic in the seas has gotten, and having it pointed out to us by Sir David Attenborough in his second series of Blue Planet really made it sink in. The footage bought tears to my eyes, and I knew then that I was partially to blame, something had to change.
So this year I started cutting down on plastic by making some changes in my business. I honestly didn’t think that it was that bad, I mean I already used recycled card boxes for my jewellery. But now I realise that every bubble-wrap lined jiffy bag that I’ve bought has to end up somewhere. And so I started with the jiffy bags, and I’m writing this in the hope that maybe a few other small businesses will make the change too. I want to tell you about a few simple swaps that I’ve made and packaging that I have found, in case someone finds it useful.
So the jiffy bags I swapped for large letter sized boxes. You can find many suppliers of these on eBay. One thing though, they came shrink wrapped and also wrapped in bubble wrap which at the time I found disappointing, but having spoken to the supplier they are more than happy to send them out in a box with no plastic packaging in future, I just have to message them with my order to ask they aren’t packaged in plastic. I learnt this the hard way! But hopefully now you don’t have to. I do have lots of jiffy bags still, and so if you receive an order from me in a jiffy bag I’m just using up the last of them.
Parcel tape – I’m making the switch from the usual plastic based brown parcel tape to the paper based kind. It’s not the easiest to come by without buying it wholesale but I have found it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scotch-45025048-Paper-Packaging-Tape/dp/B00QGQVWMC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517416551&sr=8-1&keywords=brown+paper+scotch+tape
Sadly, I had even tried the stationery shops in town and not one of them stocked a paper based alternative.
Stickers! Believe it or not, most stickers (and business cards!) have a plastic coating. I have lots of these to use up for now, but am on the hunt for a recycled paper sticker alternative. If you know of somewhere that prints these please pop it in the comments below! Recycled business cards seem much easier to come by.
Tissue paper. As I am switching to the postal boxes I needed to make sure that my jewellery boxes are protected inside of the postal box. This is where I discovered the awesome company that is Eco Craft! They stock 100% recycled tissue paper (and much more!) – Eco Craft are worth checking out if you are thinking of overhauling your packaging to more Eco friendly. https://www.eco-craft.co.uk/
I have been a part of a few packaging discussions with Etsy and Not On The Highstreet sellers throughout January and have come across small business owners with all sorts of packaging issues. I thought I would highlight a few and the solutions that I have come across.
Card sellers – I’ve seen card sellers struggling to get rid of the plastic card sleeves. Eco Craft have a bio-degradable solution! Or simply go without! I obviously can’t speak for everyone but I know that I certainly wouldn’t be upset if a card that I ordered online didn’t come in a plastic sleeve.
Breakables – ceramics, glass, framed items etc. I’ve seen sellers wondering how they could ever do without bubble wrap. This one did give me a bit of a headache I must say! But then I remembered that stretchy mesh cardboard stuff that I’d had on a parcel once. I’ve not found a supplier for this, but if you know of one please share below!
Now that I’ve overhauled my business’s plastic packaging I have moved on to things around the house. Swapping clothes washing detergent for powder that comes in a cardboard box, hand wash for bar soap etc. I’m going to continue making these swaps around the house as things run out.
Please share your eco packaging thoughts and tips below, and I would love to know if you decide to make any swaps in your business!