The great packaging conundrum...

The great packaging conundrum...

Post and Packaging... an absolutely crucial part of any e-commerce but it's a minefield of decisions around cost, sustainability, environmental impact, recycling, reusing, supply, availability and necessity. There is an obvious need to wrap/contain Wishcraft products in_ something. Mainly for protection from the rigours of courier travel but also from the weather and to keep the many small parts together. I have researched and looked at the various options available such as boxes, cardboard, biodegradable plastic etc and have come up with something I am able to live with... for now at least.

For the most part I use paper bags to contain small items, paper tape wherever possible and I reuse the paper backing from the adhesive packing slip cases to wrap the teeny bits. I also use kraft paper to wrap the completed orders in. The theory here is that hopefully paper products are either reused by the next person, composted or ideally, pulped back into paper (idealistic- I know!). Having said that, although I ask my suppliers to keep plastic to a minimum I still receive a lot of it so I hoard and re-use it for packaging as much as I possibly can. 

The PBT courier bags are plastic and I haven't found an effective way around that yet without having to increase the cost to the customer and compromise the protection from moisture. I have considered compost-able plastic bags but I honestly believe they would still end up in a landfill where they will not break down at all anyway. My own current solution which I encourage everyone to consider, is to keep all soft plastic (courier bags, bread bags etc) and take them to a recycling drop off point. Soft plastics ARE able to be recycled but the recycling sorting centres around New Zealand are unable to separate them out properly so they end up in landfill.

You can find a list of New Zealand drop off points here as well as more information about Soft Plastic recycling.

I really hate waste and tend to hoard all sorts of things in case I 'find a use for it one day' so if you have any tips or tricks for me I'd love to hear!


P.S. Here is a fantastic way those soft plastics can be recycled!