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Eco-friendly recyclable packaging - Why is it so hard to find

Eco-friendly recyclable packaging - Why is it so hard to find

Originally published 3rd February 2017

It’s been a long journey to find a new solution for my packaging, surprisingly more difficult and time consuming than I ever thought.

While being in the online retail and clothing industry does not make me unique, it seems my requirement that my new packaging be both postage friendly and environmentally friendly made me anything but!

I have been using kraft coffee bags for the past few years because they are flexible and forgiving of the treatment they get in the mail and it allows me to pack single item orders really flat. By getting them within the 2cm thickness requirement for cheaper postage, I'm able to offer free postage on all orders. A $9 postage satchel is a killer on $16.95 pair of undies otherwise. It also had the flexibility of allowing me to pack multiple items in to the one bag, reducing the amount of packaging I used.

And over the years I’ve had mostly good feedback on the coffee bag packaging – the aesthetics in particular, but as a few customers have rightly pointed out, a more sustainable and recyclable option would be better. Coffee bags are after all designed for food, so come with a foil and plastic lining.

But finding an alternative has not been so simple. The typical packaging in my industry seems to be individually boxed items, which is excessive for my needs and they just get crushed in the mail anyway. Alternatively it’s plastic, plastic bags, bubble wrap, padded mailers etc. After scouring countless websites for the perfect solution I found it on pinterest (of course!). I also discovered there’s a reason I’d never seen something like this before, it doesn’t exist! But I was determined and finally found a manufacturer who could make my dreams of a cardboard packet come true (I know, doesn’t sound like all that much to ask for!).

So now it’s here, and don’t worry, if you liked the old packaging you’ll definitely like the new stuff, not only does it look better, its plastic free, foil free and recyclable! And better still, I no longer have to stamp every single bag by hand. Hooray!

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