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Plastic Ain't Fantastic

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 Bug and Belle, we're constantly trying to find ways to minimise any negative impact our business might have on the environment. Our approach to avoiding single use plastic and improving the sustainability of our packaging is firmly at the heart of everything we do.



Packaging our glass

If you buy glass online from us, we will wrap your glass in recycled tissue paper. Our parcels are then packaged in re-used cardboard boxes that were originally the packaging for parcels sent to us, friends or family. Although they are not always the prettiest, we hope our customers understand and appreciate the reason why we re-use them.


a pile of flattened cardboard boxes awaiting re-use
Some people might think this is just a pile of flattened boxes but we know it's really a secret weapon to help save the planet. Re-using boxes is even better than using recycled ones, because the recycling process still needs some energy and water.


Even the shredded cardboard that cushions the glass inside our 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 we love them! Much of the shredded card that we 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.

A heart shape, made from shredded cardboard because we love recycling
We really love this shredded cardboard - you'll find it in most of our packaging and it's being used for the second or third time - you can use it again, too!

If we do ever feel it is necessary to wrap items in bubble wrap, you can be certain that this is also re-used from our own deliveries, so it is not single-use plastic. By giving it a second life, we are diverting it from landfill, at least temporarily. We are proud that we have never bought a single sheet of bubble wrap. We even made the switch recently to using paper parcel tape instead of plastic tape. If you buy from us at a fair, we will wrap your glass in re-used cardboard and pop it in a fully recyclable paper bag.


Rolls of cardboard ready to be re-used
These lengths of cardboard come wrapped around our sheet glass deliveries. We roll them up, slice them into long strips and use them to wrap your glass at craft fairs/markets


Packaging our cards

If you buy cards from us online, we 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 our cards clean and looking their best when they are displayed at fairs, we need to put them into a protective film envelope, but after lots of research we 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



Compostable film envelopes for our greeting cards
Our film envelopes are made from plant juice!

Moving forward

Our next step is to look into replacing the self-adhesive labels we 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 we're keen to make every possible little contribution.

Self adhesive labels for Bug and Belle
Lovely labels, shame about the backing sheet...

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.


We would love to hear about how you have re-used our packaging, or ideas on how we can be even greener. Drop us a line at info@bugandbelle.co.uk.




And finally...

There are always a few cardboard boxes that are really too large for us to re-use to send glass to our customers... but one member of the household has claimed these as her own!



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