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For many people buying online, the anticipation of delivery and the thrill of opening the package when it arrives, is what makes online shopping more exciting than purchasing from a bricks and mortar store.
Inventive boxes, colourful tissue paper, perfectly tied ribbons, quirky cards and design-led instructions all focus on giving you – the customer – the ultimate unveiling experience.
But how much packaging is immediately thrown in the bin, and what about the impact packaging has on our planet?
Read on to find out why green packaging is important, what Eco Mama & Babe uses to pack customer orders and how all consumers can make packaging more eco-friendly.
The Problem with Plastic
Purchase any item online, and no doubt it will be delivered in several layers of plastic with the primary aim of protecting the item whilst on its journey to your home or office. Almost all plastic will immediately be thrown in the bin, ending up in landfill or entering our waterways. The problem with plastic is that it takes 500+ years to decompose.
Some papers are Greener than others
Traditional paper is made from the wood pulp of freshly cut trees. Whilst approx. 16% of these trees are farmed, the remainder are from natural forests, with deforestation causing loss of natural habitat for wildlife.
More eco-friendly versions of traditional paper exist.
Any paper products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) were created with sustainable practices. The certification considers both the environmental impact and the ethical treatment of people involved in the production of timber.
Better yet, recycled paper reduces the overall number of trees cut down for paper production, and prevents used paper going to landfill. There is evidence recycled paper reduces total energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and requires less water than traditional paper production.
Inks are more than just pretty colours
A detail commonly overlooked is the type of ink used can often be hazardous to the environment.
Petroleum-based inks contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which despite including the word “organic” are anything but… toxins are released into the air, making the air unclean for workers involved in the production process at a micro level, and contributing to global warming at a macro level.
Originally, petroleum-based inks were favored as they provided vibrant colours for packaging, however now vegetable and soy-based inks offer comparable results, with a more positive environmental impact.
Eco Mama & Babe choose eco-friendly packaging to match our sustainable business ambitions.
This is our starting point, and we are always looking for ways of operating cleaner and greener.
3 principals will guide you in any effort to lead a greener lifestyle…
Use the power of your pound by purchasing intentionally with retailers focused on limiting the impact their packaging has on the planet. Demand minimalist packaging to reduce the amount produced in the first place.
Open packaging carefully – boxes, tissue paper, ribbons – so they can be re-used. Eco Mama & Babe’s compostable mailing bags have two adhesive strips to allow re-use.
Any packaging you no longer require, dispose of consciously. This means sorting and recycling appropriately, to avoid the waste ending up in landfill.
We'd love to hear from you...
Let us know in the comments section at the bottom of this page what are your thoughts on packaging, or what you are doing to reduce, reuse & recycle.
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xx The Eco Mama & Babe Team