Plastic Free July!
New Packaging for Plastic Free July + Top Plastic Free July Tips
I’ve heard from a lot of you via Instagram that you’re participating in Plastic Free July this year and here at Azura Bay, we are too!
In case you need a refresher, Plastic Free July is a global challenge where individuals choose to give up single-use plastic items for a month. It’s an effort to raise awareness about the crazy amount of plastic we use on a daily basis AND a reminder that all of that plastic sticks around for a LONG time. More than most of our lifetimes (some scientists have said 500+ years!).
Where the use of single use plastic most applies in my business is for shipping. Shipping always requires something to protect the beautiful products that I send out in the mail, but I’ve been working hard over the past few years to lead the way with innovative packaging options to continue to reduce my impact. I've even convinced some of my suppliers to ship their items in tissue instead of bags, or to combine all items in one large bag instead of individual poly bags, which is reducing the waste on the other side of the supply chain as well!
It's a tough one to change on that side of the supply chain for several reasons:
- when shipping overseas, suppliers want to protect against water damage
- sometimes Canada/US requires clear bags at customs to proof shipments easily
- wrapping items in paper can leave tiny fibres behind making the items look dirty even though they aren’t
- drop-shipping from a huge warehouse creates dust/humidity risks
- biodegradable clear bags are expensive and hard to come by – even in 2019…
So any baby step to improve how I receive my products are definitely a win in my books! And when I do receive items in plastic bags, I always take them to my local grocery store recycling bin to be reused since my regional recycling doesn't accept them (which you can do as well with any #4 plastic if your local municipality doesn't recycle them).
So why plastic even use plastic ever, you ask? Shipping boxes from Canada is super expensive, so to keep shipping costs low for you I need to use the smallest/lightest shipping materials possible.
With all this being said, from the start I’ve always used USA-made eco packaging:
- 100% recycled/recyclable poly mailers
- 100% recycled/recyclable tissue paper
- 100% recycled/recyclable cardboard boxes
I get all of these from American brand EcoEnclose (https://ecoenclose.com), plus 100% recycled/recyclable postcards from Vistaprint.
New Packaging Changes for Zero Waste July 📦🌿
In the past the only other place where a little bit of plastic gets used is the tape/stickers/labels to finish off the packaging. But this month, I've replaced my mailing labels with recycled/recyclable labels from EcoEnclose and will be getting their zero-waste stickers as well!
I’m also so excited to announce that I'm about to launch an upgrade to recycled poly mailers! I’m introducing compostable mailers, made of plant-based material that will break down in 90 days in your home compost (full product info here: https://www.betterpackaging.com/519-2/).
All this new packaging will start to go out this month. As I transition from the old packaging, some smaller orders may receive the old mailers until they're used up (no sense wasting anything!)
In the coming months, look out for your orders all wrapped up in fully eco-friendly packages! ♻️
Everyday Zero Waste 🛍🥤
*shampoo bar image courtesy of @unwrappedlife, my fav Calgary-made solid shampoo/conditioner company
I also wanted to share a few of my favourite tips and ideas to reduce the amount of plastic you’re using in your day-to-day life!
The first idea is an obvious one since, oh you know, I run a sustainable fashion business! Buy less. Buy higher quality. Choose eco fabrics (see this guide to all of our fabrics). Support ethical makers. And say no to fast fashion.
This comes down to putting a little more time and effort into looking into the practices and policies of stores and shops and making sure you’re supporting companies that make eco-friendly choices.
I love the challenge of sourcing cute undies, lingerie, and loungewear for you and making sure you have options to fill your drawers with eco, ethical pieces.
When it comes to other plastic use, I truly believe that changes need to be practical, so why not look at the places in your life where plastic accumulates fastest? Is it the daily coffee you grab on the way to work, take out orders (hello Skip/UberEats, I'm hugely guilty of this on long work days), grocery shopping or items you use frequently like shampoo? I think the easiest way to start (and stick to) a new habit and make the most impact is pick the area that you think you’re using the most plastic, the most often.
If it's coffee, pick up a pretty to-go cup and bring that with you every day.
Groceries? There are a ton of cute totes online if you aren't digging the corporate ones at the store, and there are also lots of zero-waste shops online where you can find reusable produce bags, too. Keep a few of each in your car for impromptu visits. On that note, I think I've reduced my consumption of plastic bags just by keeping a fold-up Baggu bag in my purse, so for that random pickup at the post office I always have something.
When ordering in, add a note not to include plastic cutlery if you are eating at an office with a kitchen or at home. Yes, the containers probably aren't great but at least you can reduce something that's not even going to get used!
Personally, I have also been loving switching to bar soap and bar shampoo because there are a ton of great local brands making them (a total excuse to actually buy some treats at the local markets/boutiques) and I think it's much easier to pack for the lake or the gym... plus they last forever and now that's one spot I literally never create plastic waste.
I’d love to hear about the ways you’re making changes during #plasticfreejuly so feel free to send me a message on Insta or by email! It can definitely feel overwhelming when you start to think about all the areas where you rely on plastic in your life, but I promise that starting small and staying consistent is the best way to make a change!
Happy Plastic Free July!
Pin me for the next #plasticfreejuly or to share with friends 😉👇🏻