Biodegradable, Degradable and Re-Used Packing Materials
Posted on 17 January 2015
For all of our online orders at Down To Earth Organics, we are now proudly using a combination of Re-Used, Biodegradable and Degradable packing materials to ship our orders to those who purchase products from our online store. Over the last few years we have changed our packing methods and drastically reduced our environmental footprint by introducing green packing methods.
Biodegradable Packing Tape: only recently introduced, our cellulose packing tape is a much more environmentally sound option to regular plastic tapes. Regular packing tape is neither degradable nor for the most part re-usable, so we have specifically sourced packing tape that is safer for the environment and also biodegradable. Please note that because our packaging and boxes are re-used or re-purposed not all of the tape used to pack your order will be biodegradable.This can mean that if you order natural or organic products from our online store, your order will arrive in a variety of environmentally aware packing materials, below details the types of Re-Used, Biodegradable and Degradable materials we use to ship out our orders in an environmentally safe condition:
Re-Used Bubble Wrap: we receive much of our stock from our suppliers packaged in bubble wrap that may not necessarily be degradable. We encourage you to, where possible to keep the cycle alive by re-using any bubble wrap for your own purposes.
Re-Purposed & Re-Used Cardboard: our cardboard boxes and packaging is exclusively from re-purposed and re-used sources. We re-use cardboard from our own suppliers and also supplement our packaging box supply from local businesses, which means that you may receive your order in a re-purposed wine box or wrapped in biodegradable cardboard. This cardboard packaging can be re-used or put into your local re-cycling bins, cardboard without a shiny backing may also be added to your garden compost to feed your garden worms – just remember to remove any plastic tape wrapping before you compost any cardboard boxes.
Re-Used Brown Paper Packaging: many of our environmentally aware product suppliers now ship our stock using brown paper packing materials which is ideal for us to re-use when packing and shipping orders. We have also introduced brown paper bags to package smaller items as a replacement for plastic courier bags; we have found this a simple and effective replacement for single use plastic mailing bags. Brown paper packing is biodegradable and can be re-used, composted in your garden or put into your re-cycling bins.
Re-Used Shredded Paper Waste: while we do our best to reduce our reliance on printing and try to avoid using unnecessary amounts of paper, it is inevitable that we do have some paper waste that is created in the day-to-day running of our office and business. We tend to shred a variety of paper and thin cardboard waste to use as re-purposed packing materials, included in this can be advertising material from our manufacturers or local businesses, waste paper from our office supplies or thin cardboard packaging from products that we use in our business. Although most of this material is compostable, much of the ink and waxes on some advertising paper is not suitable for composting, so we do not recommend putting this waste into your garden. This packaging is suitable for putting into your local recycling bins.
Re-Used Biodegradable Packing Noodles: some of our suppliers make use of biodegradable packing noodles or ‘peanuts’ for shipping stock to our warehouse, we like to make use of these in packing up our orders. These biodegradable packing noodles are suitable for composting; simply wet them down before composting so that they do not blow into your neighbour’s yard.
Re-Used Degradable Air Pillows: we source these nifty little air pillows from some of our product suppliers and re-use them in packaging online orders.
Degradable Bubble Wrap: when our supply of re-usable bubble wrap is running low we make use of degradable bubble wrap for delicate items and products packaged in glass. This eco-bubblewrap has been manufactured with an organic additive that causes the plastic to degrade through a series of chemical and biological processes. Microbes found in the environment will consume the plastic and lessen the damage on to the environment. This particular bubble wrap can be identified by its light green colour and is produced with 100% environmentally friendly raw materials and is EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) free. The low density polyethylene resins made with HCFC and CFC free gasses help accelerate the degradation rate. This one of the only packing materials that we introduce into our packaging of products for our online orders; however this is a necessity for shipping items safely throughout Australia.
Re-Used Odds and Sods: occasionally our suppliers will use large amounts of plastic wrapping to pack some of our stock deliveries, unfortunately we are not in the position to be able to control the use of these materials and often we will process this through our own council’s recycling facilities. On the odd occasion we will include this soft plastic packaging in your order if the packaging is clean and in good condition. We also occasionally receive packing materials which are similar to the foam sheeting used to pack white goods, as always we re-use and re-purpose these materials as best as possible.
We encourage all of our loyal customers to keep the cycle alive by re-using, re-purposing or re-cycling all of the materials using in packing and shipping their purchases. Ultimately we would like all of our product suppliers to follow suit and reduce their environmental footprint, it just takes a little organisation, experimentation and lateral thinking, and packing and shipping need not be detrimental to the environment.