Binning the Plastic – Update

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.

Time to bin the plastic

Plastic waste
Let’s reduce this.

We’re surrounded by plastic. Water bottles, supermarket packaging, coffee cups. The damage it’s doing to us, our oceans and wildlife is incalculable.

At Snorestore, we recycle everything that can be recycled. There’s a lot of cardboard and paper and that’s easily dealt with. But the plastic which can’t be recycled is unacceptably high. We want to reduce this.

We are going to start by offering an “ECO” option for some of the earplugs which until now, we have put together for you in plastic bags. The plastic bag will go, and you will receive individually wrapped pairs of earplugs instead. Not as neat and tidy, but that’s one plastic bag fewer. A drop in the ocean perhaps, but who knows, it could be the most important drop for, say, a sea turtle.

As an incentive, we are reducing the price of these options very slightly. Your feedback, as ever, is welcome.

Ay, there’s the rub

We’ve been thinking a  lot about sleep recently.

Not just because – to state the blindingly obvious – Snorestore is all about earplugs which help you sleep.

But mainly because we are learning that when we sleep, how well we sleep, how long we sleep, all these affect our long-term and short-term physical and mental health.

We went to a talk at the Royal Society of Arts by Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist, who has a new book out, all about sleep. He had some stunning premises for us to digest, from the size of men’s testicles (no, really), to sleep deprivation and links to Alzheimer’s disease.

You can read more about Walker’s work, and his book, here and here

We’ve also noticed more and more beauty brands jumping on the sleep bandwagon. This isn’t a bad thing of course – anything legal which helps you sleep has to be a good thing.

Neom Organics is the latest to catch our eye. Their Sleep Collection looks cute (it’s actually tiny) and smells lovely. You can find it here

We will be giving away one copy of Why We Sleep and one Neom Organics Sleep Collection in the run-up to Christmas. If you want to be in with a chance of winning one of these, please sign up for our newsletter here and look out for an email from us in the coming weeks.

A long time ago …

ZenPlugs Custom Moulded Earplugs… we were contacted by a very clever doctor who had designed a brand new type of earplug – an earplug which you mould yourself.

Toby Bateson, a hospital doctor in Cornwall, had become so frustrated at his stethoscope failing to stay in his ears that he felt compelled to find a solution. Then he realised that his invention would also make perfect noise reducing earplugs. ZenPlugs were born.

Snorestore was on board with the project from the very start. We love new ideas and we’re in awe of people who see them through to fruition.

Now, several years later and bang up to date, the latest incarnation of ZenPlugs comes with an international noise reduction validation certificate and a clever real time video to show you how to make earplugs that fit you, and no-one else.

You can buy ZenPlugs from us here.