This Holiday Period, Avoid Plastic Packaging
In the wake of Black Friday and as we move towards Christmas we are in the year’s peak period for buying products, whether it be for ourselves or as gifts. An important and often overlooked result of purchasing so many goods is the amount of packaging accumulated. With more than 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging being produced worldwide every year it is surprising to see a lack of discussion about sustainable packing. So how can we make sure that we support companies that not only care about producing sustainable products but also pack them in a way that minimalises the impact on our planet?
At Agent of Change, we choose to use RajaPack’s eco-friendly range of packaging for our orders. This is because they supply cardboard packaging made from recycled materials and the end product is recyclable cardboard. Another large source of plastic in our packaging is bubble wrap (and other plastic wraps). These can be recycled at recycling points around the UK, but this isn’t always advertised clearly. We don’t have to use them however: good alternatives to bubble wrap do exist. While they may not function in exactly the same way, these other types of internal packaging achieve the same goal, which is the most important quality to consider. There are a number of alternatives to bubble wrap. For example, at Agent of Change we pack all of our products with brown paper - it protects our products all the same! Keep your eye out for supply biodegradable loose fill and brown filla paper, as well as tissue paper. Tissue paper can offer a similar protective layer when wrapped around your packaged products. What’s more, it is actually more versatile than bubble wrap. A roll of tissue paper can also be used to fill gaps in your boxes as well as wrapping individual items. The fact that it is a low-grade paper product also means it is often made from recycled materials, so it supports each stage of recycling.
We understand however, that avoiding all plastic packaging is a big task. If you make an order that arrives in plastic packaging, why not send an enquiry to the company asking whether they are considering swapping to plastic free alternatives? With a large enough customer base asking for change, you never know what can be achieved. If you do think it is feasible, choosing to boycott plastic as part of a lifestyle change can be a very effective solution to demand plastic alternatives. Depriving plastic polluting companies of their profits and maybe they will start to change. If not, we’ve individually made a difference to the amount of plastic used in our lifetime, and have probably helped some local businesses as a result!
Finally, the process of ordering online and delivering to your door all adds to your carbon footprint. This is why we advise thinking about what you are ordering before you click ‘Purchase’. Returning items means a two way trip is effectively for nothing. So even if you do decide your order isn’t for you, maybe someone you know would like it! Remember, every little positive step really does help.
With just a fraction of that 78 million tonnes of plastic recycled, plastic clutters every part of our planet, from remote parts of the Antarctic to the deepest ocean trenches. We really can’t afford to keep ignoring the signs that our impact on the environment is increasingly damaging and unsustainable. If everything we have said above seems tricky to achieve you can always donate to a cause that is committed to removing plastic litter from our environment, like Living Land and Waters. Already their volunteer schemes have removed 10, 514 488 pounds of trash from American rivers.
So when you’re feeling in the holiday mood, take a minute to think about how you can contribute to the preservation of our planet, and reduce your own interaction with plastic packaging.