20 July 2021
Packing our products in plastic is not right.
Going single use plastic free is a challenge we have set ourselves for 2021. Specifically eliminating it from the storage and delivery of our products. We’re making good progress. And we have some challenges ahead.
Every product we dispatch is being scrutinised for how we pack it plastic-free going forward. So far, we have eliminated bubble wrap, high stretch netting, blue foam edge protectors and vinyl packaging tape.
In every case we have replaced them with products that do the job just as well or better. We now pack all our table frames in waste based corrugated paper made from recycled fibres which are easily recyclable along with cardboard V edges (90% recycled content and widely recycled)
Traditional vinyl packaging tape has been replaced self-adhesive paper tape. All our cardboard boxes have 75% recycled content and are fully recyclable, with the fixings now being gummed paper tape and metal staples. But we haven’t fixed it all yet and the last hurdles feel like the hardest.
Large upholstered items are the biggest challenge as plastic simply works very well. In this case plastic is doing a great job – protecting our products to ensure we don’t generate further waste with products being returned.
Another challenge is that we know we can deliver 100% plastic free if we’re able to deliver and install directly to site. An industry wide challenge as this is rarely a viable route; furniture is often consolidated at one warehouse from many suppliers and for good reason installers are leading on that part of the process.
The limiting factors we currently face in moving away from plastic bags are that it seems this is currently what is considered normal and the current ‘this is all you can get’ approach is dictated by the large packaging companies.
There are biodegradable options we have been offered but we’ve made the decision to avoid so-called biodegradable plastics as many are still derived from fossil fuels and importantly even when they’re not we are unable to control how these are disposed of by our customers.
So, in solving this final hurdle we will need to think outside the box. No pun intended.