Enough with the plastic

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    Daniel Myers

    Andrew,

    This post caught my eye and I couldn't agree more! For the past last few weeks, the Flair team has been having this discussion at lunch. In fact, I remember locking horns with our factory before our first production run because I wanted to ditch the plastic (but didn't get anywhere).

    We do a lot of "simulated shipping" tests to ensure that the product will survive air/sea/ground transport successfully, especially with all the bouncing, rocking, and temperature extremes that come with those ship methods. That has definitely given us some difficulty, mainly because cardboard pulp tray for the Smart Vents tended to give off dust and soil the product. 

    On the Smart Vents: one thing I was particular about was using the pulp tray made from recycled cardboard. I have been toying with the idea of a brown paper bag in which to wrap the Smart Vent, rather than using the "poly bag." We're a little worried that this may not look nice, but we would love to get some opinions on this!

    I'll need to check on whether we need to have the batteries wrapped. Since the voltage at shipping time is high, I think it ultimately doesn't matter if they are wrapped or not. Long story short, we may not need to have the batteries wrapped, but I think it's more about convincing our factory that we don't need to. I'm sure some of the shipping experts at our factory will have opinions about this!

    On the Puck, we are in the process of building some new packaging. I quite like the cube form factor but we have been prototyping some other shapes and sizes that would be virtually all cardboard. That could allow us to ditch some plastic:



    As you can see in the picture, our factory placed the Puck in a poly bag ( 😒 ), the adapter and a number of other small pieces of plastic. I'm thinking maybe we can get rid of almost all of them and use a biodegradable shrink wrap on the outside. Another thought was to use a small film over the Puck screen instead of a bag that goes all the way around.

    We haven't kicked off transportation testing yet for any of these design alternatives, but the core question is going to be centered on cardboard dust. If so, we might be able to use that same shrink wrap on just the Puck or something to that effect.

    If you have any other suggestions/ideas on this front, I'm all ears. And if anyone out there on the internet is reading this and knows an expert in sustainable packaging, please reach out to us directly. We'd love to work with you to get this solved!

  • Avatar
    Andrew.sinclair

    Very happy that you are giving it so much thought. The dust  from packaging issue is a new one for me. Consider me slightly smarter now. Love the idea of wrapping the vent in paper to keep dust etc off. My $0.02 is that your brand would support it; you are in the energy reduction business and can play on that. Take a look at what the team at nimble are doing.

     

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

  • Avatar
    Brian Wuttke

    Corn plastic? 

     

    Or here is what Hello Fresh did (for insulated packaging):

    PACKAGING UPDATE: As many of you will know, sustainability is one of our primary focuses here at HelloFresh, so we thought we'd let you know about a cool change we've made to our in-box insulation.

    We've switched from our Woolcool insulation to PLA packaging. PLA stands for Polylactic Acid and comprises both the felt and plastic covering you'll see in your box. Not only are both of these elements biodegradable, but they provide better insulation than our previous product and don't involve the use of animal product at all.

    When it comes time to dispose of it, some councils will allow you to pop this in your garden waste bin (though maybe check first!), otherwise you can chuck it in your regular rubbish bin and not worry about adding to landfill as it will completely break down.

    The PLA packaging is made from non-GMO corn and ultimately is less impactful on the environment, which we reckon is a pretty good thing.

    #HelloFreshAU #fresh

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