The human race has a serious problem with plastic.
There are an estimated 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tonnes floating around in the ocean. Plus, every hour, 200,000 plastic bags are dumped in landfill. We use more than four billion single-used plastic bags annually, which is more than ten million a day… but it’s not just plastic bags.
It’s straws, cling-wrap, food wrappers and, unfortunately, postage bags.
Plastic can take up 450 – 1,000 years to decompose, meaning we’ve got a dangerous amount of plastic clogging up our waterways, our oceans, and our landfill. Ecommerce businesses play a part of the problem, distributing plastic postage bags which quite often take centuries to degrade.
However, there is a solution.
In this blog, we’ve reviewed three successful ecommerce businesses who have taken some impressive steps to minimise their environmental impact and reduce wastage using eco friendly postage bags made from raw, biodegradable materials.
Check out these thoughtful eco friendly packaging ideas and see how you can make a big difference in the war against plastic!
#1. Spell & the Gypsy Collective
If there’s one earth-loving brand in Australia, it’s Spell & the Gypsy Collective.
Designed and sampled in the Arts & Industry Estate of Byron Bay, Spell is one of Australia’s top bohemian clothing brands – celebrities have even taken notice of their unique designs and ethical production methods, including pop stars Vanessa Hudgens & Miley Cyrus.
The girls at Spell are open about their dedication to reducing their carbon footprint and have a long, detailed sustainability policy.
Spell post their products in 100% biodegradable poly bags that break down naturally over time. The garments themselves are packed into reusable, organic eco tote bags which are organic cotton.
In 2019, Spell’s goal is to convert to postage bags which are also compostable and made from sustainably-sourced plants, allowing them to break down in compost or green waste, as needed.
Since converting to eco bags, Spell has saved 460,000 plastic garment bags from entering landfill and 43,363 branded cardboard boxes. This has helped to reduce CO2 emissions by 31.6 tonnes each year – the equivalent to planting 819 trees.
Their packaging isn’t dull, either – the current poly packaging is a soft, appealing pink colour with a white paisley print and is stamped with their recognisable antler and feather logo. It’s a textbook “Spell” look, design and feel, complete with an environmentally friendly twist.
Using environmentally friendly packaging is a fantastic opportunity for your business to promote your dedication to reducing waste, but also a really easy way to win over the ethically-conscious consumer.
#2. Bravery Co.
This one comes with a little bit of heart.
Bravery Co. is an ecommerce store that focuses on headscarves for women living with cancer. The owner, Emily, has survived cancer not once but twice and now, she collects headscarves from all over the world with unique patterns and designs to brighten the lives of fellow survivors.
Image: Bravery Co.
Bravery Co. is also committed to sustainable shipping and reducing the world’s carbon footprint. Emily posts her head scarves using Better Packaging Co – an online business that creates parcel bags from raw, non-toxic materials like corn starch, corn husks, rice straw and wheat straw.
Better Packaging Co creates these bags in line with the “circular economy” process –
resources are used for as long as possible and the maximum value is extracted from them while in use. At the end of the product’s service life, materials are recovered, regenerated and recycled from it.
Their bags are compostable, biodegradable and produce 60% less CO2 emissions than traditional plastic products.
Bravery Co is a good cause supporting a good cause!
#3. The Sartorial Dog
Loads of Aussie businesses are making the changeover to biodegradable postage bags – even small business owners!
The Sartorial Dog, for a example, is an ecommerce business that handcrafts 100% cotton accessories for dogs including bandanas and bow ties. The Perth-based business owner, Cherie, wants to help all dogs look as snazzy as they feel, so she custom designs accessories for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
What an incredible career choice. We’re jealous.
Cherie uses Hero Packaging for her custom dog accessories. Hero Packaging was created by Anaita & Vik, a husband and wife duo who are committed to removing plastic from packaging and shipping in Australia.
Their postage bags are 100% biodegradable and home-compostable made from 70-80% PBAT (a biodegradable polymer) and 20-30% PLA (corn starch). The bags break-down within three months in commercial compost environments, or around four months at home.
Using Hero Packaging, Cherie’s postage bags can feed the worm-farm at home or dissolve at the tip. Her dog accessories are made “thoughtful” and her shipping practices are just the same!
Alternative solutions to eco-friendly packaging
While we’d all love to go green and help save the planet from complete annihilation, biodegradable packaging can be expensive. However, there are alternative ways to help save the planet without having to see more loss than profit.
For example, Biome is an Australian ecommerce business that sells and distributes ethical products from makeup to food and reusable shopping bags. Their goal is to make the world a more ethical, plastic-free place – however, at this point in time, their postage bags are not biodegradable.
Biome offsets the environmental impact of their shipping practices by supporting Greening Australia’s Reef Aid program – an initiative to restore coastal wetlands, reduce sediment and improve water quality along the Great Barrier Reef, strengthening the resilience of coral to recover from damage caused by global warming.
Biome also donates to school waste free lunch and composting programs, donates to wildlife groups, and has also become a Palm Oil Investigations Approved brand to help support their work.
If biodegradable postage bags and boxes aren’t an option right now, it’s worth considering alternative methods of protecting the environment, whether it’s a donation program or taking extra steps to minimise wastage in your own business.
A recycling bin could even do the trick! Baby steps are still steps, after all!
Combine your eco friendly packaging solutions with Transdirect
Want to ensure your customers are getting their environmentally-friendly packaging to their door at the best price?
We can help your business with automated quoting and booking to help improve efficiency and reduce cost.
If you’d like to learn more about how Transdirect can help your business with shipping, ordering and delivering a top notch service to your clients, download our Transdirect starter guide today!