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5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives: From Plastic To Paper

With over 8 million tons of plastic waste polluting our oceans every year, it’s time to ditch single-use plastic and look at more eco-friendly ways to package products that not only helps the planet by reducing our carbon footprint, but also improves overall consumer perception of a company.

With the Plastic Packaging Tax implemented at the beginning of April, there is no better time to consider some of our more popular eco-friendly alternatives to ditch the plastic.

Envelope Mailers

Say goodbye to bubble mailers and hello to recyclable cardboard envelope mailers! Our wide range of mailers provide extra protection that normal envelopes don’t provide and are designed to fit through most letterboxes.

Made with 100% recyclable materials, our mailers are your ideal eco-friendly alternative to plastic mailer bags.

Honeycomb Paper Wrap

The perfect eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap, honeycomb wrap is fantastic for wrapping & packing any product, even if it’s fragile.

Crafted from 100% recyclable and biodegradable paper. Go plastic-free with ease to enhance your green credentials and establish your brand as a forerunner in environmentally friendly initiatives.

Book Mailers

Reduce excess waste by simply wrapping your product in the flexible corrugated cardboard for all-round protection and a close fit to prevent movement in transit.

With eco-friendly self-adhesive closure tape there is no need for void fill. In addition, ripper-tape makes for easy opening, and the packaging is easy to recycle afterwards.

Triangular Postal Tubes

In comparison to round postal tubes, our triangular tubes are designed with a twin tab locking system so no tape or plastic cap is required to seal them shut, making them fully recyclable and biodegradable.

The other advantage is that triangular postal tubes are easier to store and have a geometric shape to stop rolling around during storage but also provides extra strength too. 

Eco-Friendly Tape

We have a choice of self-adhesive kraft tapes & gummed paper tapes which offer excellent adhesion whilst considering the environmental footprint.

All of our tapes are eco-friendly & recyclable, making them the perfect replacement for plastic tapes.

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Avoid Plastic Packaging Tax with Sustainable Cardboard Packaging

The Plastic Packaging Tax seeks to encourage the use of recycled plastics and other less environmentally damaging materials, by imposing a tax on plastic packaging manufactured in the UK and also on any packaging imported into the UK, whether as “wholesale” packaging, or as part of the purchase of a product.

As the Plastic Packaging Tax comes into force on 1st April 2022, any business producing or importing plastic packaging will be charged a rate of £200 per tonne on any plastic packaging that’s deemed to be chargeable.

Why switch to cardboard packaging?

A recent survey discovered that UK consumers are willing to act if they don’t think a retailer is doing enough to become more sustainable. 42% of UK consumers would consider avoiding a retailer if they were not trying to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging. The collection and UK recycling rates for cardboard and paper-based packaging are higher than any other packaging material (85%).

We manufacture our packaging with 100% recyclable FSC Certified materials and additional features such as peel & seal tape are also recyclable and sustainable to our planet.

With this in mind, in addition to the PPT tax coming into force from April onwards, there is no better time to avoid the plastic tax bills and switch to sustainable cardboard packaging today.

For more guidance on the plastic packaging tax, visit the government website here: Plastic Packaging Tax – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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Why choose sustainable e-commerce postal packaging?

What does the data say?

The UK is the world’s third largest market for e-commerce, with e-commerce sales in the UK rising by 35% between 2014-2019. It has been forecast to rise again by a huge 34.7%, from 2019 to the end of 2021.

Whilst e-commerce sales leads to an increase in packaging, this will result in the amount of waste also set to increase. New research from Citeo & Ipsos found that 92% of people expect a package that is appropriately sized for the product. Yet 75% of UK shoppers were left frustrated with excessive packaging and wanted retailers to reduce the volume of packaging used.

A recent survey discovered that UK consumers are willing to act if they don’t think a retailer is doing enough to become more sustainable. 42% of UK consumers would consider avoiding a retailer if they were not trying to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging.

With the rise in e-commerce not stopping and the importance to reduce unnecessary waste, when possible, the importance of sustainable packaging has become more important than ever before.

What to look out for when securing a sustainable packaging supplier?

To find a trustworthy sustainable packaging supplier, it is important to look out for the companies accreditations and environmental policy.

FSC are deemed as a trustworthy certification, so when a company is FSC Certified, you know you can buy from them with confidence that they are helping to ensure our forests are alive for generations to come. We are proud to be an FSC Certified Manufacturer and we recognise that we have a responsibility to preserve, conserve and sustain the world we live in, both today and for the future, so sustainability is central to everything we do.

Being an FSC certified manufacturer means that we can guarantee you that we supply packaging from a minimum of 70% recycled materials.

We design packaging to minimise its impact on the environment at every stage of the supply chain, specifying eco-friendly board grades and weights and avoiding the use of unnecessary materials.

What are the advantages of sustainable e-commerce packaging?

1. Increasing your brand awareness

A survey Deloitte conducted, showed that over the last 12 months up to 34% of consumers are choosing brands that have environmentally sustainable practices/values.

With consumer behaviour shifting, customers are becoming more conscious of purchasing from brands who use sustainable packaging. Sustainable packaging has become one of the key areas for companies to express their commitment in protecting our environment. It has also become a marketing and branding tool to inform customers that your business truly cares about the environment.

2. Save money

Sustainable packaging materials are normally lightweight and durable, meaning delivery costs can be at a minimum. Additionally, as we can ensure packaging to fit your product rather than supplying over-sized packaging, we will also save you money on cost of material, whilst reducing waste simultaneously.

3. Reduces your carbon footprint

As corrugated packaging is made from recycled materials, this type of packaging is one of the best solutions to lower your carbon footprint.

Here are just some of the ways as to why our packaging is sustainable and can reduce your carbon footprint:

  • 100% recyclable and biodegradable material
  • The precious fibres are recycled to make new corrugated packaging
  • On average, a new box contains 88% recycled content
  • Paper fibres can be recycled 25 times or more
  • Optimising the use of packaging material
  • Easy to sort as mono-material (paper-based materials)
  • Packaging is easily folded and flattened, ready to be collected for recycling.

Interested in switching to sustainable packaging?

If you are looking to switch to sustainable packaging for a certain product, please get in touch with us here so we can help you find the right box for you. Alternatively, please visit our sustainable e-commerce packaging range.

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Single Wall vs Double Wall Cardboard Boxes – which is best for your product?

It’s all a matter of thickness. Single wall has one layer of fluted material between two boards (below left), whilst double wall has two layers (below right). Double wall boxes can provide extra protection for more fragile or heavier goods as they are made from two layers of fluted material, rather than single wall which is made from just the one. Whilst double wall boxes can hold up to 25kg in weight, single wall boxes can still provide the right protection for most products as they can hold up to 10kg in weight and are the more cost-effective solution out of the two types of boxes. Double wall does provide extra protection for your products, which results in a slightly higher price for double the material/protection.

Questions to consider when choosing which box suits your business…

  1. Will these boxes be shipped by courier or used for transit?
  2. How heavy are the goods you are using these boxes for?
  3. How fragile are the goods you are using these boxes for/ does your products need protection?
Which cardboard box provides the best protection?

Double Wall provides extra protection with double the material compared to single wall boxes and can hold up to 25kg in weight. Therefore, double wall can handle heavy, fragile or products that are being stored for a long period. Also, if your product is going through various transport processes such as warehouse and shipping, these double wall boxes are strong and durable enough to withstand any potential damage. For lighter and less fragile products, single wall boxes can still provide the right protection and can hold up to 10kg in weight.

Cost-effective solution, single or double wall?

Single wall provides the best cost-effective solution compared to double wall. Double wall boxes are generally more expensive as you are getting double the material compared to single wall. As we manufacture our own boxes, we can provide you with the best value on all cardboard boxes.
We also have our ‘specials‘ section, where we offer various bespoke sizes on sale, in stock, until sold out.

Why should you consider single wall cardboard boxes?

Single wall boxes are an excellent choice for general purpose storage, packaging and shipping. Our single wall boxes are suitable for commercial, domestic and industrial users. They are manufactured on site using high quality British corrugated cardboard. They are sturdy, durable and environmentally friendly; 100% recyclable and re-usable.
Our single wall boxes are delivered flat-packed enabling them to be convenient to store, whilst they are easy to assemble by taping the flaps. With a variety of sizes whether it’s an archive box, a small gift box or a moving out box, we have a size to suit your needs.

Why should you consider double wall cardboard boxes?

Manufactured with a double layer of corrugated cardboard and finished with thick brown paper on each side, the double wall cardboard box is the reliable solution for heavy-duty packaging requirements. The additional cardboard layer provides extra strength allowing it to withstand heavier loads and handling for storing and transporting goods.

The perfect solution for industrial environments where processing heavy loads is an everyday occurrence, the robust, reinforced sides deliver a reliable, sturdy and durable container for heavy items. In addition to their resistance to compression and stack ability, the double wall box is the safest option for ensuring goods are well-protected, wherever they’re heading.

Single wall or double wall boxes for moving out?

Designed for light to medium duty use, our single wall boxes are the ideal packaging for house removals, when storing, sorting and moving items. With their strong sides, when packed appropriately, these boxes can be safely stacked on top of one another to maximise the use of space without the box losing its integrity and collapsing.

However, for fragile or heavy items when moving out, we recommend purchasing our double wall boxes to ensure your items have a strong, durable protection. These double wall boxes can be used to transport delicate or fragile items that are prone to damage as the extra layer gives added cushioning to absorb impacts.

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Letterbox friendly postal packaging – Royal Mail PiP Boxes

Our range of letterbox friendly postal packaging are designed to minimise shipping costs but also to reduce waste by minimising the amount of packaging you use.

Why choose our manufactured postal boxes?

  • Quick & easy to assemble.
  • Strong durable protection.
  • FSC-certified as sourced from sustainable forests.
  • Minimise shipping costs.
  • Reduce your packaging waste.
  • Delivered flat-packed, easy to assemble.
  • We provide huge value by purchasing directly from us, the manufacturer.

Royal Mail PiP Packaging Guide

To help clarify the Royal Mail PiP guidelines, we have put together this table which includes all of the maximum dimensions for each PiP category.

PiP DescriptionPiP Max SizePiP Max LengthPiP Max WidthPiP Max DepthPiP Max WeightExamples of Items
Large Letter353 x 250 x 25mm353mm (35.5cm)250mm (25cm)25mm (2.5cm)750g (0.75kg)Greetings Cards, Folded letters, postcards, CD’s, DVD’s, magazines, certificates.
Small Parcel450 x 350 x 160mm450mm (45cm)350mm (35cm)160mm (16cm)2000g (2kg)Clothing, portable speakers, mobile phones.
Medium Parcel610 x 460 x 460mm610mm (61cm)460mm (46cm)460mm (46cm)20kgGifts, shoes, heavy or bulky items
Large Parcel1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5m*1500mm (1.5m)*1500mm (1.5m)*1500mm (1.5m)*30kgFragile items that require a high level of protection.
PiP Tubes900mm*900mm (90cm)1040mm (when 2 x dia + Length)**1040mm (when 2 x dia + Length)**(various)**Rolled posters, artwork, wallpaper, rolled documents.

* Large Parcel Sizes are a maximum of 3000mm (3m) with the length and depth combined.

** PiP Tubes can’t be more than 1040mm when adding the length and two times the diameter. i.e. (120mm dia x 2) + 800mm length = 1040mm Max PiP Tube Size.

Our range of packaging which accommodates each PiP Category

Our Pricing in Proportion (or PIP) Boxes are specifically designed to fit through the 25mm slot that Royal Mail class as a large letter. Three of our five postal box sizes below fit through the 25mm large letter size slot, which will minimise your postal costs, along with your speed to pack, with these lightweight, easy to assemble, postal boxes. Delivered to you flat packed for easy storage and delivery.

PiP DescriptionSuitable postal products from our range
Large LetterPostal Boxes – 218 x 159 x 20mm
Postal Boxes – 217 x 108 x 20mm
Postal Boxes – 163 x 112 x 20mm
Small ParcelPostal Boxes-300 x 250 x 100mm
Postal Boxes – 150 x 150 x 60mm
Twist Wraps – 195 x 140 x 80mm
Twist Wraps – 305 x 203 x 80mm
Twist Wraps – 300 x 300 x 105mm
Book Wrap Mailers – 251 x 185 x 60mm
Book Wrap Mailers – 310 x 250 x 70mm
Flexie-Mailers – 140 x 124 x 40mm
Flexie-Mailers -195 x 140 x 40mm
Flexie-Mailers – 292 x 194 x 40mm
Flexie-Mailers – 310 x 209 x 40mm
Flexie-Mailers – 320 x 198 x 80mm
Flexie-Mailers – 358 x 238 x 90mm
Flexie-Mailers – 400 x 278 x 40mm
 
Medium ParcelBook Wrap Mailers – 430 x 380 x 90mm
Flexie-Mailers – 626 x 451 x 40mm
Single Wall Cardboard Boxes – Range of Sizes

Large Parcel

Double Wall Cardboard Boxes – Range of Sizes
PiP TubesTriangular Postal Tubes – Range of sizes
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Sustainability tips for Easter

Springtime is a time of rebirth and regeneration for nature, but it can also be a time of unnecessary waste during the Easter holiday. Luckily, becoming more sustainable for our planet doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your chocolate treats or reducing the consumption of food this Easter. Instead, we provide you three sustainable solutions that can remarkably help reduce the impact of our environment, whilst digging into some tasty treats!

1. Indulge in palm oil free Chocolate

Palm oil is a vegetable oil sourced from oil palm trees, used as a cheap substitute in packaged foods. Harvesting palm oil has resulted in widespread deforestation, primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia. In turn, this has left elephants, orangutans and rhinos on the brink of extinction.

It is estimated that 98% of Indonesian forests will be gone in 5 years. As well as driving species extinction, deforestation on this scale is releasing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing directly to climate change.

Unfortunately, it is estimated that 50% of the products on our supermarket shelves include palm oil. However, one of the more popular Easter treats, chocolate, can be consumed free from palm oil. Whitakers have been providing us high-quality chocolate for over 130 years. Even better, every single chocolate Whitakers make are with palm free oil!

Treat yourself or someone special to a ‘Happy Easter’ (Palm oil free) chocolate bar!

Happy Easter Milk Chocolate Bar (90g) | Whitakers Chocolates

2. Compost Eggshells (Reduce your food waste)

Easter time means more eggshells lying around than usual. This Easter find alternative disposal methods for your food waste. For example if at home, you can compost eggshells, along with many other foods, to eventually produce soil to be used in your garden. If you don’t have space for a compost heap, ask your local council for a food waste bin.

Alternatively, why not introduce your business to a specialist food waste collection and disposal service. Grundon Waste Management offer a dedicated food waste service where collected food waste is sent to Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities. At the AD facilities, naturally occurring organisms break down the food waste to produce biogas, which is then converted into renewable electricity and fed into the National Grid; in addition to providing fertiliser which is used for agriculture and land regeneration.

This specialist process results in dramatically reducing our carbon footprint, allowing us to all become more sustainable for our planet.

Read more on how Grundon can reduce your carbon footprint and your costs.

Food Waste Collection & Recycling – Grundon

3. Avoid Egg-cessive packaging

We love packaging – but we know you can have too much of a good thing!

Did you know that each year, more than 8,000 tonnes of waste is generated just from Easter egg packaging and cards alone?

Using unnecessary materials & causing excessive waste is a big concern regarding the protection of our planet. With our right-sizing process we make sure our customers minimise packaging without compromising the performance or protection of your product.  

Read more on our packaging reduction process.

Packaging Reduction – Weedon Group – Packaging Solutions

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Sustainability tips for Mother’s Day

It’s that time of the year where we show how much we love, care & appreciate our mums.

However, due to covid-19, things might pan out a little different this year. Every year, ranging from cards to roses, there are many gifts sent out to mums around the world at this time of the year. However, the downside to this, is that this results in huge amounts of CO2 emissions, paper and plastic packaging waste, often sent to landfill. This sounds like a negative response to Mother’s Day, but in actual fact there is no better opportunity than this year to even just consider an eco-friendlier gift to help protect our planet.

Here are some of our sustainable tips for you for Mother’s Day.

1.Ditch the Mother’s Day cards

Did you know that one greetings card produces an estimated 140g of carbon dioxide? This is a huge amount considering that billions of cards are sold worldwide every year. Unless you are extremely sentimental, you probably throw your cards away, or at least store them in a drawer that you only open once in a blue moon.

During covid-19, there has been a huge shift towards online e-commerce and particularly when discussing Mother’s Day cards, e-commerce has helped offer an eco-friendlier alternative to replace paper cards this year. There are now are several online eCard sites available that allows you to personalise & design your own paperless card. In addition to this, a paperless card means no impact on our environment!

If you are someone who has always sent a paper card & appreciates the physical presence of giving your mum a card, then why not make one yourself? A handmade card would be just as meaningful and thoughtful to design one yourself, which again would also play its part in reducing the damaging impact on our environment.  

2. Homemade jewellery

Most mother’s love jewellery. What better way to show appreciation of your mum on Mother’s Day by sending her a handmade personalised jewellery gift? Although these types of shops may be closed on your local high-street, there are a number of online handmade jewellery gift shops. A number of these handmade jewellery stores are highly ethical for the environment, with recyclable materials and eco-friendly gift jewellery/ gift boxes.

3. Eco-friendly flowers

Again, with your local florist most likely in temporary lockdown due to the pandemic, there are plenty of e-florists open online. Additionally, some of these e-florists offer eco-friendly flowers, that look just as beautiful as normal ones, but also help reduce the impact on our environment.

Eco-friendly & fair-trade flowers have a lower carbon footprint, use less water and protect our environment.

4. Reusable Coffee Cup

If your mum is a coffee lover then this would be a perfect gift this Mother’s Day. On average, over 7 million single use coffee cups are consumed each day worldwide. That equated to approximately 2.5 billion per year, at huge costs both financially and environmentally. A reusable coffee cup helps save the disposal of non-recyclable coffee cups that your mum may get through regularly.

5. Eco-friendly soaps

Natural handmade soaps protect the environment from poisoning it with the toxic chemicals contained in normal soaps. An eco-friendly company called Friendly Soap make their soaps using the cold process method ensuring all soap bars are kind to the skin & easy on the earth. Visit the friendly soap website for more products as they currently have a wide range of soaps perfect for a Mother’s Day gift this year!

Handmade soaps | Natural & clean beautifully with a velvety smooth lather. (friendlysoap.co.uk)