Today marks the start of the annual campaign that encourages people to give up plastic for one month. The theme of this year’s Plastic Free July challenge is ‘Turn the Tide, one choice at a time’ and is celebrating the collective impact of millions of people across the world choosing to refuse plastics. Plastic pollution is having a devastating impact on our planet and marine life but if we all make small changes in our lives, we can create a huge step towards solving this issue.
Here at Glass Art Designs, I'm constantly trying to find ways to minimise any negative impact my business might have on the environment. My approach to avoiding single use plastic and improving the sustainability of the packaging is firmly at the heart of everything Ido.
Packaging your glass
If you buy glass online from my website, I will wrap your glass in recycled tissue paper. Parcels are then packaged in re-used cardboard boxes that were originally the packaging for parcels sent to me, my friends or family. Although they are not always the prettiest, I hope my customers understand and appreciate the reason why I re-use them.
Even the shredded cardboard that cushions the glass inside my parcels is recycled from my glass deliveries. This is usually from www.warm-glass.co.uk who themselves have an extremely strong commitment to reducing their environmental impact. It's one of the reasons I love them! Much of the shredded card that I receive has been itself been created from cardboard delivered to them or their neighbours, so if you see printing or labels on the shredded card then you will know that by the time it reaches you it has already been used at least three times.
If I do ever feel it is necessary to wrap items in bubble wrap, you can be certain that this is also re-used from my own deliveries, so it is not single-use plastic. By giving it a second life, I am diverting it from landfill, at least temporarily. I am proud that I have never bought a single sheet of bubble wrap. I even made the switch recently to using paper parcel tape instead of plastic tape. If you buy from me at a craft fair, I will wrap your glass in re-used cardboard and pop it in a fully recyclable paper bag.
Packaging my cards
If you buy cards from me online, I will package them in a lovely paper bag and then pop them into a cardboard box to protect them while they are in the postal system. To keep my cards clean and looking their best when they are displayed at fairs, I need to put them into a protective film envelope, but I have made sure that these are fully biodegradable, compostable film envelopes, made in the UK from vegetable starch. These film envelopes can be added to your home compost heap and should be broken down in about a year. You can find out more at https://www.eco-craft.co.uk/pla-biodegradable-spec
My next step is to look into replacing the self-adhesive labels I use to seal parcels with ones that are completely plastic-free. The labels aren't large, but their backing sheet contains a layer of plastic that can't be recycled and I'm keen to make every possible little contribution.
If you're interested in knowing more, visit https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ where you will find lots of great ideas about the ways you can reduce plastic in your day-to-day life.
I would love to hear about how you have re-used my packaging, or ideas on how I can be even greener. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are always a few cardboard boxes that are really too large for me to re-use to send glass to my customers... but one member of the household has claimed these as her own!