Giving up plastics and why we didn’t do it earlier (it’s more complicated than you think)
Like millions of others we’ve resolved to try to use far fewer plastics and think harder about waste and our impact on the environment. Sitting here from the glorious vantage point of early 2018 post David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 it seems obvious that single use plastics are a terrible waste of resources and are having a catastrophic impact on the planet. So one of the first things we are doing is investigating changing our envelopes over to brown manila ones.
Up to this point we have been using slim blue plastic envelopes. Today I looked at them and thought why on earth have we been using these when they’re obviously so bad? But this isn’t the first time we’ve visited this issue and our previous decisions weren’t made flippantly. Previously when we were deciding on envelopes we considered three types – paper, biodegradable blue polymer and plastic.
The biodegradable ones would have been perfect, however they had biodegraded to the point of confetti by the time the sample reached us from the supplier so they were, unfortunately, a no starter. This meant that the choice was between manila paper envelopes or plastic ones. We opted for the blue plastic ones which today feels like a mistake that said they are much lighter and our research suggested the energy and resources used across the process from manufacturing through to final delivery of the product to the customer were far lower with lighter envelopes. For example if every envelope weighs 1g more it will require more petrol in the Royal Mail van etc, etc, etc. Also recycling opportunities were growing so we thought it would be possible to recycle the envelopes. Whatever the arguments for plastic envelopes it feels like it’s the right time to seriously investigate using recycled paper based packaging. If we get loads of negative feedback and the envelopes don’t survive the post we may need to reconsider our decision. Also we have quite a lot of blue plastic envelopes we need to get through first so we won’t be switching just yet but if our test is successful as soon as we get through the blue envelopes we will switch to paper ones.
We are also going to
– use recycled paper to wrap products where necessary rather than bubble wrap – although we’ll still re-use any bubble wrap that we receive.
– as always wholesale orders will be sent out in recycled boxes. Our throws and blanket scarves are sent to us from the weavers in plastic bags so we often recycle them but we never buy new packaging for them.
-think hard about how everything is packaged.
-replace cellophane packaging with pretty, printed paper alternatives (when we’ve used up our current supplies)
Our product range reflects our beliefs about using things economically and living modestly. We work hard to make products which are hard wearing, useful, will last and which have longevity built into them. A beautiful throw is something you can use for years and years and my screen printed leather make up bag is significantly older than my children (7 years and counting) and still going strong. We don’t want to see cheap disposable unnecessary things. That said our lives are far from environmentally perfect and it feels as though it would be almost impossible to live a guilt free environmentally perfect life in twenty first century Britain but it is exciting that the world seems to be taking a fresh look at how precious our planet is and how we can make less of a mess of it.