Pack it in.
As an online retailer thoughts around packaging take up a surprising amount of time. Finding the right sized boxes in sensible quantities from decent suppliers etc.
We sell a diverse mixture of products and that means having to have a couple of standard sized boxes that work across multiple products, and product order combinations. That means we often have to add packing materials around the product to make sure they are delivered safely and in good condition. I don’t really like the idea of shipping empty space – and its avoided where possible – but a lot of the time space needs to be filled up to stop product rattling around in the box whilst out for delivery.
When we first started the business we bought in some starch based biodegradable loose fill “peanuts” – they look a lot like a white Wotsit. They work really well as they don’t add much weight to the overall parcel. Then I noticed that a couple of our suppliers used them in their bulk deliveries to us – so great, into a container they went for reuse by us. We now work with a variety of product suppliers both in the United Kingdom and Internationally and they all use various packaging materials for deliveries to us. We get starch peanuts, shredded cardboard, white “chip shop” paper, brown paper and occasionally still those plastic air bags.
Repair and reuse are key to Tinker and Fix as a company so it just makes sense to us to utilise these materials again when shipping out to you, the customer. So take a look at the packaging when you receive your order and try and see if you can work out where it first started life. The Japanese newspapers are our current favourite.
We’ll also try and eliminate any plastic from our packages. All the new boxes we buy are from Forest Stewardship Council approved sources and we use paper based packing tape to make recycling at your end easier. But before you recycle the box and packaging maybe think about reusing it first.