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The 2021 Eco-Friendly Packaging

Prosecco Iced Biscuits from Ireland

I’ll admit, I hadn’t a clue. I buy thousands of packets, boxes and wrappers every year and yet I didn’t have a baldy notion. I assumed it was simple; you just call a packaging supplier, order their boxes and they arrive by courier.

  • Here are my favourite excuses for packaging not being available or delivered:
  • Is eco friendly the way you’re thinking of taking your company?
  • Oohhh, that’s expensive. We don’t keep that in stock, can you not use the non recyclable?
  • It is recyclable, just not at home. Industrial recyclers can do it. No, there aren’t any in this country.
  • We can’t deliver this one anymore, it was actually a custom design for one of your competitors.

Two whole months without a box and a factory capable of producing 1,000 biscuits a day. It was a long two months, but I survived. I completely redesigned the idea of “a box of biscuits.”

Putting them in a tray, then a box is the traditional way, “the way everybody does it.”

Cardboard tubes are lovely, but they’re an ecological oil spill. From the glue and manual labour to the shipping in diesel tankers and multiple vans required to deliver them, they’re genuinely dreadful for the planet.

I started over, from my letterbox. I want biscuits in my hand, as soon as possible. Before my hand they come through the letterbox. I ordered some samples of letterbox compatible boxes that come with Forest Sustainable Certification (FSC), to prove they’re from managed forests that aren’t depleting the worlds supply of wood.

I added a gift bag made of linen that could be reused and a postcard of recyclable paper. That ticked all the food legal requirement boxes, the postage service requirements, added a beautiful gift element and answered the brief: send me biscuits.

Compared to the previous boxes, there was no need for padding (less packaging), no plastic tray, no outer box and no plastic tape.

The biscuits themselves are individually bagged in polypropylene, a plastic only recyclable in industrial facilities, which are not yet available in the UK. The bags will be changing to recyclable, which is four times the cost, which I don’t mind, the cost to the planet is much higher if I don’t, but the suppliers don’t stock it, so I have to order 40-50 rolls at a time instead of 1 or 2. Sadly my factory just isn’t big enough a pallet sized delivery yet. But as soon as it is, I’ll be fully recyclable.

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