It’s been a month since we introduced our minimal packaging experiment, with a host of new ECO options for our most popular foam earplugs.
The idea was, you’ll recall, to reduce the amount of plastic we use here at Snorestore. Instead of neatly lining up 10 or 20 pairs of individually sealed pairs of earplugs in yet another plastic bag, we started offering a cheaper option, whereby those pairs of earplugs were simply placed inside the delivery envelope, sans additional plastic.
The take-up by you, our amazing customers has been remarkable. Close to 90% of people ordering foam earplugs now choose the ECO option. It helps that these are the first choices in every product list, of course. And it helps even more that the ECO options cost you less. Nevertheless, we’ve been surprised and delighted that so many of you appear happy to receive an envelope full of earplugs, rather than a bag of carefully aligned, carefully arranged earplugs.
A bonus to this experiment, which we hadn’t foreseen, is that we have been able to dispatch many more orders in our favoured cardboard envelopes than ever before. These cardboard sleeves are made from already recycled cardboard, and can be recycled again (please put them in your regular cardboard/paper recycling bin for collection!) and they had been for us the perfect size for many of our 10 pair pre-packaged sets of foam earplugs.
Now, without the extra plastic bag, we find we can fit TWICE as many individually wrapped earplugs e.g. LaserLite, MaxLite, Max, Contours earplugs into the same size cardboard outer. Before, we would be using a polythene (plastic) envelope, albeit from a climate neutral country, to ship these products. Some combinations weigh more in the cardboard envelopes, and cost us (not you) more to post. Yet we feel this is a price we should be paying.
We understand we have an ongoing responsibility to up our game on the eco and recycling front. But we’re pleased that the baby steps we have taken so far have already produced a positive result. We estimate that we are using fewer than half the plastic bags we were using just over a month ago. It takes more time than it did (this was a surprise) to put together your orders, but the small additional cost to us in terms of person hours, is more than offset by the delight we have in knowing that we are consigning fewer plastic atoms into the world at large.
We can’t do it for all our products, obviously, as we still need to ensure that your earplugs are clean and hygienic when you receive them. We would never, for example, unbox silicone putty earplugs or wax earplugs and send them to you without an outer casing. That would be pretty gross on arrival, no question.
But there must be ways we can reduce our impact on the planet further. What do you suggest? Let us know.