We all need to do our bit to reduce our use of plastics, and the amount of plastic I use as a business has been weighing on my mind for some time now. In particular, the infamous 'pink envelopes' may be cute, but when I see them stacked up in packs of 1,000 they seem like an enormous waste 😔
Ebony recently wrote a very eloquent blog post about the importance of reducing our plastic waste here
Some customers have suggested using cardboard packaging, but this is completely impractical. Sending fabrics in cardboard, during this time of contact-free deliveries which often end up dumped on a soggy doorstep in the rain, isn't ideal. You may not be aware that due to the sharp increase in global internet shopping, coupled with social distancing in factories AND Brexit, there is also a shortage of cardboard! Basically, the majority of cardboard produced goes straight to Amazon.
I can't do much about the amount of plastic a lot of items come wrapped in from Japan (besides badger the manufacturers!), but I have researched alternative mailing bags and have managed to find a viable solution.
So, as soon as my current supply of pink bags is used up, I will be switching over to fully compostable mailing bags made from plant starch! You can pop these bags in your kitchen caddy and fill them with peelings for the compost heap, knowing that's one less plastic bag going to landfill.
These bags also feature a double glue strip, meaning they can be used twice as mailing bags so they are worth hanging onto for next time you need to send something.
Of course, nothing is ever quite that simple and the main reason I've put it off for so long is the cost. Each bag costs about 20p more than the pink ones but hopefully if more businesses start to use eco-friendly packaging, the price will come down.
So rather than pass this cost straight on to customers, I've decided I will share it, by increasing the cost of postage by just 10p when I start to use the compostable bags. I can't see that anybody will mind such a small increase, and it may even prompt people to make one larger order rather than several small ones, which will also save on the environmental costs associated with multiple deliveries.
As ever, the postage charge is a flat rate, meaning you can order as much as you like and it remains the same, even when it costs me more.
I do hope you are happy to come along with me on this environmental journey, and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below x
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I started Japan Crafts in 2006 and have been bringing wonderful fabrics and techniques to people in the UK ever since.